Attitude of Gratitude

A growing body of research has tied an attitude of gratitude with a number of positive emotional and physical health benefits. A November 2010 article in The Wall Street Journal summarized the research: “Adults who frequently feel grateful have more energy, more optimism, more social connections and more happiness than those who do not, according to studies conducted over the past decade. They're also less likely to be depressed, envious, greedy, or alcoholics. They earn more money, sleep more soundly, exercise more regularly, and have greater resistance to viral infections. Now, researchers are finding that gratitude brings similar benefits in children and adolescents. [Studies also show that] kids who feel and act grateful tend to be less materialistic, get better grades, set higher goals, complain of fewer headaches and stomach aches, and feel more satisfied with their friends, families, and schools than those who don't.” The researchers concluded, "A lot of these findings are things we learned in kindergarten or our grandmothers told us, but now we have scientific evidence to prove them.”

No wonder God commands us to be thankful! God knows that a spirit of ingratitude damages our physical and emotional and spiritual health. The writer of Hebrews says, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name” (Hebrews 13:15). Praise and gratitude are integral to our wholeness. Giving God thanks flows from the recognition that “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights…” (James 1:17).

So today, if you haven’t already, pause and offer your sincere appreciation to God. He is eminently worthy of our thanks!

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