Why It’s Important for Christians to Practice a Gratitude Attitude
Gratitude is an important practice for Christians. So often, we treat God like a genie in a bottle, asking him to provide us with things that we want. We beg him for a new car, or for a better job, so that we can afford the things we want. And then we are so disappointed when we feel that God has failed to answer our prayers.
When we are in a constant state of “wanting,” we don’t appreciate the gifts God has already provided us. And that is why it’s important to practice gratitude every day — to remind us of the gifts he has already provided us. Colossians 4:2 says, “Devote yourself to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”
Thank God for 3 Things a Day
On most days, it’s very easy to find 3 things that you can be thankful to God for providing. On other days — such as when you’re going through a divorce or an illness — you may find it more difficult. But even during the bleakest of times, you can still find 3 things to thank God for — even if it’s just, “Thank you, God for allowing me to open my eyes today.” As Psalm 118:24 says, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
You’ll be surprised how thanking God for three things first thing in the morning will give you a Gratitude Attitude that can change your mindset for the day. Because instead of focusing on the negative, you’ll now be starting your day with a positive attitude.
For whatever reason, it seems to be human nature to focus on the negative rather than the positive. By practicing mindfulness, you can get away from focusing on “what could go wrong,” and instead be thankful for the things right in front of you. For instance, take a moment to appreciate the lovely sounds of a bird singing in your yard or to really focus on the beauty of the sky.
In addition, by being mindful, you may see that God has already answered some of your prayers. One woman, for instance, was feeling slightly annoyed that her new neighbors liked to chat with her all the time. Only after practicing mindfulness did she realize that she had asked God to ensure that she would not be lonely after her recent divorce and subsequent move to a new neighborhood. But because she was so busy focusing on the negative, she didn’t even realize that God had answered her prayers. James 1:17 “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly light, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
See Beyond Today
It’s also important to practice gratitude even when things don’t seem to be going the right way. For example, if you don’t get a job that you coveted, you should still be thankful because God always has His reasons. So, say, “Thank you, God. Although I am disappointed that things did not go the way I wanted, I know that you have better things in store for me.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong in Christ Jesus.”