The Secret to Thriving: The Importance of Gratitude

As I enter into the last couple weeks of this school year, I am reminded of the importance of gratitude.

 

Here is how the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines gratitude:

 

*Gratitude: the state of being grateful; thankfulness.*

 

I love this quote about gratitude:

 

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.”
― Alphonse Karr

 

In “thorny” times, times of stress or hardship, gratefulness enables us to better thrive and survive.

 

I can complain that I have a huge number of final projects coming up that seem impossible to complete, and that right now I’m sitting in my bed writing this because I’m sick with some sort of cold.  Or, I can rejoice!  (No, I’m not crazy!)

 

I can rejoice because I have the opportunity to go to school, to live in New York City, to show how much I’ve learned over the past semester, and to learn how to better discipline myself in time management so I can get enough sleep and not get sick.

 

One of my business professors said something really profound:

 

“The hard things shout at us, but the daily blessings and gifts whisper.”

 

She went on to say, that “when we approach conflict (and other hard situations) with gratitude instead of anger, we can be grateful that we are solid in Christ no matter what the outcome.”

 

Proverbs 16:24 says,

“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”

 

Gratefulness enables us to fight against negativity, and to strengthen ourselves with joy and positivity.  It gives life to our bones, and to people around us.

 

Life is not easy.  Sometimes it seems downright cruel (just watch or read all the horrible stories in the news), but we have the power to choose how we respond to and think about the things that happen to us.

 

In addition to this, we have a God who dearly loves us and empathizes with us.  Hebrews 4:15-16 declares:

 

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

 

Today, I encourage you to think about at least three things that you are thankful for, and leave a comment to proclaim that gratefulness.  If you want a bigger challenge, think of three things to be grateful for that are directly related to a hard situation in your life.

 

This week, I pray that you experience the power of gratefulness!

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