Remember to say ‘please’, ‘did you say thank you?’ is the mantra of most mothers of young children. teaching thanksgiving begins with a forced habit of gratitude and develops, by God’s grace into a lifestyle of thanksgiving.
Therefore as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving, are Paul’s inspired words to the church at Colossea.
Even as a young believer, I needed to learn gratitude in a fresh way. Being thankful could no longer just be the polite thing to say, but it becomes the lived out lifestyle of one saved from eternal death. Out of gratitude for what Christ has done in the life of the redeemed believer, those called His are to walk abounding in thanksgiving.
When we fail to remember what He has saved us from, we fail to give thanks with our lives. As a young believer I heard a saint with such overflow of gratitude speak that I immediately bought her book on gratitude.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss wrote a beautiful and applicable book for cultivating gratitude in our busy lives, Choosing Gratitude. At her conference in those early years of my walk with Jesus, she even offered the book with thank you cards to encourage us to write thank you notes to those in our lives for whom we are grateful.
What if we intentionally sent a “I’m grateful for you” text to a friend, spouse, family member? Or actually wrote with real life pen and paper and thankful for you note to someone? I try to send a text like this at least once a week to my husband, giving specific things I am grateful for in him. It reminds my own heart to think on the good, too. I send my children notes of gratitude to encourage them to know they are seen as the gifts they are. I send short texts to friends that the Lord is bringing to mind and thank them for them.
Cultivating gratitude is not only an overflow of our own redeemed heart but it brings such encouragement to the recipient too.
I encourage you to get a copy of Nancy’s book, Choosing Gratitude or even everyone’s favorite, One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. This masterfully written memoir of gratitude guides the reader into intentional gratitude by keeping a running list of all the gifts we notice throughout the day.
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