As Christians, having an attitude of gratitude seems like it’s almost a requirement. Whenever we go through difficulties, the expectation is that we’ll praise our way through it. Because, as someone is sure to point out, didn’t James say we were to “count it all joy when we go through difficult situations”?
But What is a Gratitude Attitude?
The Oxford Dictionary defines gratitude as the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
In other words, we must always be ready to show our appreciation when we receive kindness. For Christians, this goes a step further and we are encouraged to cultivate and maintain an attitude of gratitude at all times.
Having a gratitude attitude does not mean that we smile maniacally while life throws all kinds of obstacles at us; neither does it mean that we never acknowledge when we experience difficulties. Rather, it is an acknowledgment that regardless of our circumstances, God is still good. It’s an opportunity to praise our Creator and Heavenly Father knowing that He is the Master of our circumstances and is worthy of our praise.
So Why Is An Attitude of Gratitude Important?
It’s about our hearts. A grateful heart is one that is inclined to see God. It’s one that’s open to receiving the blessings our Heavenly Father bestows. It’s one that’s able to love others the way Christ demonstrated when He was on earth.
How to Develop An Attitude of Gratitude
Developing an attitude of gratitude is crucial for us as Christians. Not only does a gratitude attitude improve our physical health, but it also improves our spiritual health as well.
So how do we go about cultivating this attitude of gratitude? here are three tips.
- Give up your control. At our core, most of us want to be in control of our destinies, our lives, and even the people around us. often when things don’t go our way, we react poorly. We become resentful and surly.
When we accept that we are not in control, it allows us to check our attitude about the things that happen to us.
- Look for evidence of God’s presence. God has promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us. Even on our darkest days, He’s there. But sometimes we get trapped in our heads. We get blinded by our struggles and we fail to see that God walks with us through our trials.
To reclaim your gratitude attitude, take a moment to consciously seek God’s presence. And when you find them, as I know you will take a moment to give Him the glory.
- Share your testimony. As Christians, we’re called to preach and teach (Matthew 28:19–20). For some, that means speaking to people on a wide scale. For others, it’s as simple as a conversation about what God has been doing in our lives.
So share your testimony. Tell people what God has done for you. And as you do so, you will find that an attitude of gratitude swells up in you and you can’t help but give Him the glory.
Gratitude Attitude Devotional
It was this idea of sharing my testimony that encouraged me to write a 21-day gratitude devotional. I was struggling with the idea of being grateful even if life did not look the way I’d hoped it would. As I revisited my story, I learned to see it through new eyes: through the lens of gratitude.
Gratitude Bible Study
But there are times when you need a way to reclaim your gratitude attitude because, sad to say, throughout your lifetime you’ll find that your ability to be grateful ebbs and flows.
I’ve written a 5-day Bible study that’s geared toward slowing you down long enough for you to practice being grateful. I encourage you to download this gratitude Bible study (it’s free) so you can begin the process of cultivating an attitude of gratitude today.
What are your tips for practicing gratitude? Share them with me in the comments.