Do you stand out as an exceptionally grateful person?

Our hectic, often overloaded modern culture can easily distract us from following through on our good intentions.  It is easy to take our blessings for granted.  Now more than ever we need to intentionally cultivate the lost art of gratitude.

You will find that your capacity for joy increases as your sense of gratitude grows.  So if gratitude is so joy-producing, why aren’t we exercising it more?  Several common obstacles may water down our capability to appreciate our blessings to the fullest.

1.  Excessive “noise.”  By this I am referring to the sheer velocity of life.  The constant connection to commitments, obligations, and looming deadlines keep us preoccupied with urgency throughout the day.  It is easy for gratitude to get suppressed under the busyness of daily life.

2.  The “owe-me” attitude.  This is the notion that someone or some group owes us; that we deserve something from others.  With this mentality, even if we receive something, it’s not a gift but a right.  This attitude dissolves gratitude on the spot.

3.  Materialism and consumerism.  We are bombarded with thousands of marketing images every day reminding us that we could be thinner, our breath could be fresher, our whites could be whiter, and our carpets could be cleaner.  Gratitude, on the other hand, makes us feel that we have enough.

4.  Lack of a connection and intimacy with God.  When we are right with God, we naturally and humbly cherish life for what it is–a temporary gift.  This connection with God breeds in us an awe for life.  We can be thankful for what life has to offer and what we have been given to offer the world.

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