I gave my nephews 100 index cards to write down what they are grateful for each day and, at the end of 100 days, receive $100. I often write a thank you list after an emotionally charged event, and it's incredible how it can shift my feelings from disappointment to appreciation. Being thankful is a superpower I want to share with others.
Neuroscience reveals gratitude rewires our brains to be happier and more content. Experiments at UCLA and UC Davis have measured the effects of appreciation using brain magnetic resonance imaging. The conclusions point to gratitude's positive impact on mental and physical health, self-worth, and improving our relationships by developing more compassion. Thank you really is a magic word.
Thankfulness makes us slow down and pay attention to the important. Rather than chasing after the urgent, we gain perspective on what matters most and live accordingly.
God always looks after our best interests and knows that life will be easier if we remain thankful. 1 Thessalonians 5: 16 -18 says, "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." He tells us this not because He needs us to be thankful but because we do.
Thankfulness is a powerful means of drawing near to God. It is fundamentally about not taking things for granted. We become more aware of God when we pay attention to His many gifts surrounding us.
What are you most thankful for? It's challenging to be grateful when life gets hard. It's easy to dwell on what is difficult instead of what we have. Focusing on the good stops me from being undone by the bad. Gratitude is progressive; it is the seed of contentment and joy.
Thankfulness redirects our attention from what is wrong in our world to what is right; it initiates satisfaction, enabling us to navigate life with faith and hope.
Thankful people are people who remember. So, let's exercise our superpower by writing thank-you notes, prayers, and even index cards!
This is my most recent writing that will be published in Christian Devotions, an online devotional I enjoy. Although this one doesn't get published for a while, January 18, 2025, you can check out others at www.christiandevotions.us