I want us to focus on the power of living from a base of gratitude and how this can break self-obsessed thinking and feeling habits. In the Scriptures we read that God recommends living from an attitude of positivity toward Himself, life and others.
Hebrews 12:28-29 “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be grateful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”
Colossians 3:16 “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”
Our custom can sometimes be to focus on what we don’t have (the negative) this cane develope an unhealthy habit where as individuals we can become increasingly inward looking to the point of self-obsession. We focus down on our past, try and understand it and then see how this relates to the problems we face today and promoted to try and live in this backdrop. Sometimes this can be a helpful process however it can also create an eternal prison and remain behind the bars of the past.
Scripture implies that when we know the truth it will set us free John 8:32. Freedom was brought at a very high cost to Jesus who gave up everything to secure our freedom from the chains of captivity Isaiah 61. He also placed some helpful God shaped ways to think and act that would help us in this life. I want to focus on the power of living from a base of gratitude and how this can break the self-obsessed mind.
The mind is a powerful organ that functions by what we input into it. If we input new data (learning or habits) into the mind we can create new thinking patterns and this causes fresh behaviour reactions to develop. Yes, I have been reading deeply on how humans function and why we do certain things.
Gratitude comes by increasing our awareness of what is happening around us each day. To develop this art I have been keeping a gratitude dairy each day. Before I go to bed I quietly sit and make a note of what I am grateful for. Here are some examples:
Laughing with friends, a kind husband, nice home, work for a great charity, people to pray with, a loving family, food, understanding friends, being part of an amazing Church, creative ability, great ministry team around to help, friends in other countries, watching films with friends, quiet days to write, fitness, hanging out with people who have vision for life, people who believe in me and knowing a loving God who loves me.
Out of the art of practicing gratitude the heart can soften towards God, others and in deed self. We may find that by focusing of the vastness of what a great big life we have on the side we become easier to be around, quicker to be in the presence of God. Jesus spoke about giving thanks to God for everything we have for a reason.
So I challenge you to start your own diary and see what is happening in your life now and let the past relax its influence in who you are today.