An attitude of gratefulness is essential for joy.
It’s so easy to be focused on what’s not right in our lives, isn’t it? It must be a human nature thing to take for granted all of our blessings and lock in on the few things that aren’t the way we want them. There’s some value in looking at what we don’t like, because it may, and I mean may, represent an area we need to work on. But if we only focus on what we don’t like and ignore all the blessings, we will not have much joy in our lives and our attitude will be negative, which actually negatively impacts our ability to work on the areas that need work!
The reality is that anyone who is reading this is obviously immensely blessed. They have adequate eyesight, access to a computer, and the ability to read. Just these three things are huge…yet who considers them and is grateful? Eyesight is a wonderful gift. I can’t imagine life without it….but I don’t think about my blessing of eyesight very often. But if I lost my sight, I would likely give most everything I have for the possibility to get it back. Access to a computer…what does that mean? On the surface it means I am probably living in a country with material comfort that exceeds a third or more of the world’s population…this is a guess, but considering half the world lives on less than two dollars per day its probably pretty close. But do I wake up everyday and thank God with a grateful spirit that I live in such a comfortable part of the world? I’m almost ashamed to say that I don’t. Lastly, the ability to read. If you can read you had some level of effective education. Over a billion people in the world cannot read. Are you ever grateful for this? I read roughly 75-100 books a year…I can’t imagine not having this joy in my life.
Those are just three awesome things to be grateful for if you can read this blog. There’s likely another 50 within 50 feet of you. Imagine how incredible every day would be if we pursued what we are free to pursue from a platform of utter joy for all the blessings we already have!
Here are some excellent quotes on Gratefulness from one of the little books I read:
“Reflect upon your blessings, of which every man has many–not on your past misfortune, of which all men have some.”-Charles Dickens
“We become happy, spiritually prosperous people not because we receive what we want, but because we appreciate what we have.”-Penelope Stokes
“Contentment comes when we develop an attitude of gratitude for the important things we do have in our lives that we tend to take for granted if we have our eyes staring longingly at our neighbor’s stuff.”-Dave Ramsey
“It is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.”-Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“If you won’t fill your heart with gratitude, the devil will fill it with something else.”-Marie Freeman