Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe (Hebrews 12:28 NIV).
Followers of Jesus who have developed the Discipline of Thankful enjoy life more and have less anxiety than others. I discussed “gratitude” as a discipline that can be developed in Interruption #499.
There are seven signs of a thankful person:
- They listen more than talk.
- They have a peace in difficulty that defies logic.
- They are attractional and people are drawn to them.
- They are extremely generous with their time and resources.
- They work hard but rest well.
- They exhibit healthy food and exercise habits.
- They desire to spend time with God.
If we decided to make a New Year’s list of better practices, some of the above seven signs, and perhaps all of them, would be on the list. We would have good intentions and might even get a membership to Planet Fitness©.
Then we would fail. What a guilt trip. A euphoric feeling of good intentions, then the frustration of failure. There is a better way.
Become a thankful person.
I have found that living in the “now” of God’s grace – an awareness of what God is doing, seeing the good in others, and not being distracted by my problems – allows my gratitude to increase.
I’m more thankful by noticing God’s minute-by-minute blessings.
When I’m grateful, I realize the cause is God’s grace. I praise Him for this favor that changes me to become the person that I want to be. God’s grace never fails. It is released by gratitude. Works fail, but grace abounds.
The discipline of thanksgiving is the foundation for all other disciplines. Below is a list that I developed in 2005 to help me develop gratitude.
Seven Steps to Becoming Thankful
- Give thanks to the Lord for He is good (Psalm 107).
- Let your conversation be filled with grace (Ephesians 4:29).
- Confess that God is doing good things in your life (Psalm 100).
- Practice thanking God silently seven times a day (Psalm 44:8).
- Say that you are a blessed person (Ephesians 1:3).
- Believe that joy comes from trials (James 1:2-4).
- Meditate on the Lord in your bed before you fall asleep (Psalm 63:6-7).
(Note: It is interesting that Interruption #500 is on Thanksgiving Day. I enjoy writing Interruptions every morning.)