Daily Devotional: Thursday, July 13 - Lifestyle Of Gratitude

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” — 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

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Merci. Gracias. Danke. Grazie. Thank you.

Gratitude is defined as the quality of being thankful. It is a readiness to show appreciation. Similar terms for gratitude include gratefulness, thankfulness, appreciation, recognition, acknowledgement, regard, respect and indebtedness. It’s interesting to point out that “thanksgiving” actually comes from the root word “think.” When we actually take the time to think, we usually have something to be thankful for. So, let your last thinks be thanks.

Many of us have heard the cute little phrase “Attitude of Gratitude.” Zig Ziglar says, “Gratitude is the greatest of all emotions.” I encourage us to make gratitude more than just an attitude or emotion, but rather a lifestyle. Thankful moments depend solely on our circumstances, while a heart of thankfulness is a way of life.

Several key characteristics come to mind about those who make gratitude a lifestyle:

  • Thankful people exchange the “bib” for the “apron.” The bib is all about me and my wants and needs. When we wear the apron, it now becomes all about others and their wants and needs. Grateful people serve others.
  • Thankful people change their “have to” into their “get to.” It’s no longer “I have to cut the grass, wash the car, pick up the kids.” It becomes “I get to wash the car, cut the grass, pick up the kids.” My perspective changes so that I’m grateful God has provided me a home with a yard to cut the grass. I’m blessed to have a vehicle and I’m healthy enough to wash it. I’m grateful for the kids God has allowed me to have and raise.
  • Thankful people focus on “giving” rather than “getting.”
  • Thankful people strive to live a life of significance rather than just success. Significance is about others, while success focuses on me.
  • Thankful people make it a goal to impact others and are less concerned about trying to impress others.
  • Thankful people focus on their testimony rather than their title.

Complaining is an obsession of what is going wrong, while gratitude is an obsession of what is going right. It’s important to remind myself to be thankful for the things I do have instead of complaining about the things I don’t have. Gratitude makes what we have enough!

Great leaders learn the art of being grateful for their team and use various forms and methods in expressing it. Silent gratitude is meaningless. As John Maxwell reminds us, “Recognition is applauding people for what they’ve done. Appreciation is applauding people for who they are.”

Luke 17:11-19 tells us a story of 10 lepers Jesus healed. But the key focus is on the one who showed gratefulness versus the others that didn’t. “One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him — and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, ‘Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?’ Then he said to him, ‘Rise and go; your faith has made you well’” (vv. 15-19). Be the one!

Prayer: “God, my prayer is to have a heart of gratitude. Please forgive me for the times when I get selfish and ungrateful. Thank You for who You are and what You do.”

— Jim Good

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