Soon turkey-induced comas will be socially acceptable, pumpkin spice will actually be used in pies and Facebook statuses will be full of “Thankfuls.” Thanksgiving is such a unique Holiday to America, but the concept of gratitude is relevant to Christians everywhere. Giving thanks is more than just a good habit and good manners, it’s vital to a healthy relationship with God. If you don’t habitually give thanks to God and those around you, it’s very easy to become discontent. Romans 1:21 “For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” Being thankful should be part of our daily lives. Here are some practical ways to incorporate gratitude into your everyday life.
At the end of the day, take some time to write down 1-5 things that you were thankful for that day. It could be anything from going on your first date to plainly having pizza for dinner. You can either simply list each item or write an explanation as to why it was a blessing. It doesn’t matter how big or small it is, the idea is to find something in your day that blessed you.
Return the Favor
Sometimes the little things in life bless you the most. A Snapchat from a friend on a lonely day, your mom doing your chores because you have a cold, your dad helping you with your homework. Those are all little ways that speak volumes to the love people have for you. One way to show gratitude to those people is to return the favor. If your friend is feeling down one night, call instead of just text. If your mom seems stressed over the bills, whip up some dinner (it doesn’t have to be fancy). If your dad’s computer is having problems, trouble-shoot it with him. These small gestures show that you’re thankful for that person and the blessings they bring to your life.
Social media provides a very public platform of your life. Sometimes this can be troublesome, but it can also be very helpful. It’s typical to post “thankfuls” on social media on Thanksgiving, but it’s not as typical to share things you’re thankful for throughout the year. Use Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to share the blessings in your life all year long.
Lastly, show gratitude to God. We often ask a lot of God while not thanking Him for what He has done and is doing. While prayer requests establish trust and involvement with God, thanking Him encourages you and strengthens your relationship with God. Take time publicly or privately to thank and praise God for the things He is doing or the prayers He has answered. “I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds” Psalm 9:1
Life doesn’t always feel great. Sometimes, it feels like all the cards are stacked against you. You have a test in that class with the teacher who doesn’t like you, two of your friends are not speaking to each other and everything seems to be going wrong. It’s OK to acknowledge frustration at your circumstances. It’s actually emotionally unhealthy for you to bury all of them. But if you dwell only in the negative, everything will have a negative tint. Taking just a little time every day to acknowledge a blessing in your life keeps you grounded.