Gratitude is something we hear a lot about – how it changes your attitude and perspective on things. And it’s true! But how many of us know this, but still find ourselves in an attitude of ungratefulness time to time? It happens to all of us.
STEP 6: CULTIVATE A GRATEFUL HEART
Learning about gratitude is a lesson I was actually glad to learn this year because I had so much to be thankful for this year but I had such an attitude of complaining all year. I complained all the time about how I found it difficult to make decisions and complaining about how I wasn’t where I wanted to be. I found it very difficult to be thankful for the good things in my life that God had placed around me. We can complain about the trivial things when many of us live a life FULL of conveniences! It’s crazy, isn’t it?! One thing I can complain about sometimes is cleaning the house. In my house, we are ALWAYS cleaning and sometimes I would just get so fed up of cleaning. And then I thought for a second, there must be so many people out there that wished they had a house to clean!
I started to think that I need to change my perspective quickly because constantly complaining was sending me into a downhill spiral. And so, I started slowly by regularly giving thanks to God for the little things throughout my day – even something as small as my train arriving on time and favour with my colleagues at work. As I continued to do this, it opened my eyes fully to the many ways in which God was working in my life. It gave me a new perspective – a renewal of my mind and an improved attitude which was filled with joy (Psalm 16:11). It doesn’t mean that I don’t still complain, but now if I do complain, I don’t dwell on it for a long time because I’m able to remember instantly the many blessings that God has provided for me.
Praise makes all the difference because it exalts God at the heart of the issue. Every day is filled with all kinds of situations that could upset you and make us grumble because that is life but we have a choice in how we react to those situations. Do we let them get us down and complain or do we choose to exalt God and thank him for the things He has done for us? Whenever I started to feel discouraged about myself or my circumstances, I remembered that God made me and loves me just the way I am and He is leading me to where I’m supposed to be. Trying to spend some time each morning focusing on the good things God has done in my life helped to set the rest of my day on a good path.
God wants us to have joy during our ordinary, everyday lives – even the worst days. So cultivating a grateful heart is the start of it.