Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Gratitude. Grateful. Thankful. Thanksgiving. These are words that are important to think about, and even more, an attitude that is important to display. And yet, how often do we take for granted what we have in our lives? If you are like me, you tend to reflect too much on the negative experiences, instead of the good things of life.
This last Sunday my church celebrated "Pastor's Appreciation" day. It was wonderful to have them show me their love and appreciation. I was given a basket full of cards and gifts. Later, when I went home, it was a joy to go through the basket with my wife and kids and see all the special gifts, read the touching sentiments, and marvel at the time and energy that went into putting this basket together. This should be a memory that does not leave me; a memory of gratitude.
A number of years ago I started an "Encouragement" file. I did this because someone once told me that this file would help me in times of discouragement. So I put into this file (actually I now have files) the encouraging notes and cards I get from people. And sure enough, whenever I pull it out and read some of the thoughts expressed, I became grateful for the time these people put into sharing their loving thoughts with me; grateful for what I mean to them and the impact God has allowed me to have in their life.
If we take the time to notice, we really have much for which to show gratitude. In fact, it might be beneficial if you take a moment and list some of the things in your life for which you are grateful. It really makes a positive difference when we think about this. As Philippians 4:8 says, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." We should not only dwell on them, we should be grateful for them!
Tell me what you think.