I recently wrote this for my church’s newsletter.——–
Perspectives……..by Anne Sweeney
I had one of those God moments this month. Where a word or thought has popped into my head a number of times. I just felt like God wanted me to write about that word. That word was Gratitude- hence my topic for this month.
What is gratitude? Gratitude in defined on Dictionary.com as the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful.
What is gratitude from a Christian viewpoint? Gratitude in the Christian sense is a spiritual practice. It is about offering a deep thankfulness for the Lord’s work in our lives.
I don’t think I am always truly gracious from the Christian viewpoint. Oh, I give my thanks to those who help me, we say grace each evening, I pray and read the Bible when I can, and I try to thank God each morning that I wake up to another day. But I don’t find that I always have what I call deep gratitude. It’s more than just thanking God. It is the need to be more intentional in gratitude. As Christians we have so much to be thankful for.
When I realize what has been given to me by Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection I can hardly believe what I have been given. I surely don’t deserve it. The more I look into myself from a Godly perspective the more awful I seem. There is NO way I could ever get into heaven if it was not for Jesus Christ and His sacrifice He made. I have been given amazing grace!
In a society where we want this and that, and we feel entitled to this and that, we often feel angry when we don’t get what we want. We often blame God. We let the every day stuff stomp out the important things and the things we should have the most gratitude for – the love and grace from God.
Randy Alcorn from Eternal Perspective Ministries puts it like this (and I could not say it any better)” If only we could see our situation clearly—even for a moment. We deserved expulsion; He gives us a diploma. We deserved the electric chair; He gives us a parade. Anything less than overwhelming gratitude should be unthinkable. He owes us nothing. We owe Him everything. When you realize you deserve nothing better than hell, it puts a “bad day” in perspective, doesn’t it?”
Uh- yes that gives me some perspective…how about you? When we realize what we , as Christians, have been saved from shouldn’t the gratitude to God and the smaller every day things just overflow from us? I know this does not always happen though. How can we be more intentionally gracious?
If we look at gratitude as a belief system and an intentional way of life- a choice – we can grow our spirit of thankfulness even when we are amidst the negative times in our lives. Jame A. Autry author of “Choosing Gratitude -Learning to Love the Life You Have” reminds us that “there will always be more reasons for gratitude than for despair.” In practicing gratitude the sorrow and bitterness will be replaced with joy and a humbleness for what we are being given but don’t deserve- grace and redemption. I have some work to do! What about you?
Thank you for reading!