Friday, March 21, 2014

Daily Thought For March 21, 2014

The Importance of Gratitude

Perhaps gratitude's greatest benefit is that it opens our eyes to goodness and kindness in our world-things we might otherwise be blind to or take for granted. And, when we recognize that all these blessings, however small, come from the hand of God and are signs of his love and care for us, we come to know how present God is to us, and our faith will grow. That's why, when our faith feels fragile, it's good to make an intentional effort to count our blessings. In other words, cultivating gratitude can cultivate a stronger faith. 

And gratitude does need to be cultivated! Gratitude is not something we're born with but rather something we need to learn. Parents have to teach and remind their children to say the magic words "Please" and "Thank you." However, our apprenticeship in gratitude should continue through adulthood because we inhabit a consumer culture that reminds us, all the time, of everything we don't have. It can tempt us to live beyond our means, confuse our needs with our wants, be envious of what others may have, and conclude that we're entitled to them. That's why it's a good practice to regularly count our blessings and make an intentional effort to call to mind all the things for which we should be grateful. 

from When Faith Feels Fragile ― Help for the Wary, Weak, and Wandering  by R. Scott Hurd p. 125