An attitude of gratitude makes life better. For others and for you too. I discovered this from a church mission trip, fixing up homes in Kentucky Appalachia. In an area with one of the highest levels of poverty in the country. And the experience reminded me how well I have it.
Here’s how you can discover an attitude of gratitude too.
Serve Others For An Attitude Of Gratitude
Gratitude begins with a mindset that gets out of yourself. Looks at the plight of others and asks the question: what can I do to help? To make a difference?
It moves beyond fault finding and blame shaming. Rises off the couch of social justice arm chair quarterbacking and gets in the game. Becomes a problem-solver rather than a problem identifier. Moves from talk to walk.
Serving others broadens your perspective. No, your problems may not go away. But it prevents them from dominating your life. And adds significance as you lift up others.
Learn Contentment For An Attitude of Gratitude
We live in a culture that promotes accumulation and comfort. And the answer to the question, how much is enough? Is always a little more than what we have now.
Because contentment is like a fishing lure of enticement…always trolling just out of reach.
But scripture reveals the secret to contentment. It is from God and is LEARNED.
It’s not an unexpected epiphany. A warm fuzzy someone gives you. A level of enlightenment achieved somewhere on the quest for more stuff. You learn it on the journey of discipleship. As you seek first the Kingdom of God while navigating times of scarcity and plenty. And you realize God provides for you in both of them.
Compare Down For An Attitude Of Gratitude
We naturally compare ourselves to other people. And usually compare up.
I was doing exactly that one day as I drove through my neighborhood. Comparing as I looked at all the nice cars in driveways. An SUV here. BMW there. Mercedes around the corner. Wait. Dude. You should move further up town!
My 15-year old, compact car with 175,000 miles was an eyesore. At least in my view. Rust spots appearing on the doors and fenders. Dimpled like a golf ball after driving it in a hail storm. Although it otherwise ran great.
Then as I left the neighborhood and pulled onto a main road, I passed a bus stop where a group of people waited for their ride. And I felt a spiritual nudge and a gentle voice say, “those people don’t have a car.”
It switched the direction of my comparison. And provided a lesson I will never forget. There is always someone who has it better than you. And someone who has it worse.
So take a pause the next time you start a comparison pity party. And compare down. Your inventory of blessings will change your attitude into gratitude.
Thank God For His Blessings For An Attitude Of Gratitude
Don’t wait for a comparison pity party wake-up call. Regularly and intentionally reflect on your blessings. Do you have a place to live? Food to eat? An income? Generally in good health? Surrounded by loved ones?
Chances are you can say “yes” to at least some of these. And you know people with much less. The point is, there are always things you can appreciate. So take the time to appreciate them. Stop looking at the glass half-empty and start seeing the one half-full.
And thank God for his blessings. Because God is the source of all that is good. And his best gift is eternal life through Jesus Christ. When you’ve received that gift, there is no comparison.
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