Sadly we’re losing the art of being grateful. Too often we go through life with an entitlement mentality to the point where we don’t even know how to say “thank you”.
We can’t say thanks because we believe we deserve to get everything that we want.
How very …sad.
We’ve gotten to a place where we no longer appreciate the rain thinking of it instead as an inconvenience – something that’s preventing us from going where we want to go.
We forget that without the rain the plants wouldn’t grow, the animals would have nothing to eat and neither would we, the water reservoirs would dry up and pretty soon we would have no water to drink. And so I wonder… what does gratitude sound like?
Let’s go back to II Samuel 6. David and his men were retrieving the ark of God after a long separation. Now let’s remember that to the Israelites at the times, the ark symbolized that Jehovah dwelt among them. Being without the ark would have been like being without Jesus and the hope of redemption for a Christian.
Finally, they were going to take the Ark of the Covenant home. We are told in II Samuel 6:5 that:
"David and all the house of Israel played music before the Lord on all kinds of instruments of fir wood, on harps, on stringed instruments, on tambourines, on sistrums, and on cymbals.”
Can you imagine the sound of all those people worshiping God and being grateful to him? What does gratitude sound like?
I’ll ask another question: is it okay to make the sound of gratitude with our lips while our hearts are completely detached from God?
No. It’s not. Even more than the praise of our lips, God wants the praise of our hearts. If we never say one “hallelujah” a heart filled with gratitude for all that he has done will tell a greater story than one that is unconnected to him.
Because here’s the thing, when we’re grateful it will come out in our lives. We will tell others about what God has done for us and how much he loves us.
We will instead focus on the things in our lives that are positive and good instead of those things that aren’t going our way. Instead of an entitlement mentality, we will instead display a “gratitude attitude”.
What's a "gratitude attitude" anyway? It's when we stop thinking we deserve to be treated a certain way and instead learn to rejoice over every and anything that comes our way.
How will we know when we have a “gratitude attitude”? Here are three signs:
1. We’ll speak about the positive. Life is not always easy, especially for the person who’s trying to live their life according to the example set by Jesus.
But instead of focusing on the negative things around us or the things in our lives that we wish we could change, we speak and think about those things that are good instead.
2. Even when we get a little discouraged we will still find joy in the good things of life. One of the things that always amaze me about David’s psalms is how they always take a positive turn.
No matter how depressed and downhearted he starts out he usually ends on a note of, “yet still I will put my trust in him.” That can be us too. We can choose to be positive.
3. Every cloud has a silver lining. I know, that’s a total clique, so how about this: we will be perpetually positive.
Have you ever met someone who’s always looking for the best in every situation? Well, that will be us.
I know that when most persons think about thanksgiving, especially at this time of year, they tend to think food and laughter. Today I challenge you to think a little deeper. If you had to spend five minutes giving thanks, what would it sound like?
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