Let's face it. Left unchecked, our lives can get pretty hectic.
Without solid rhythms in our lives, like Sabbath and prayer, our schedules get more and more chaotic, and less and less intentional. With our LiF monthly theme being all about gratitude, we saw it fitting to focus on the power of establishing a gratitude practice.
In today's blog post, we're unpacking what a gratitude practice is, how to start your own, and why it matters. Of course, we'll be looking to Scripture to see how thankfulness plays such an important role in the Christian life.
A Heart Posture Rooted in Scripture
"Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!" ~ Psalm 107:1
Gratitude is everywhere in the Bible. Think of David's joyful songs in the Psalms or of Paul's heartfelt diatribes in the Apostles. Throughout human history, we've understood the importance of giving credit where credit is due—to God and God alone.
He is the reason we have our breath, have our life. He alone is worthy of our worship.
We discussed this more in detail in our previous blog post, but the only viable response to Jesus' sacrifice is immense gratitude. Once we understand how deep in sin we were and how Jesus washed us clean with His blood, our outlook on life completely changes. We live each day with a grateful heart.
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." ~ Colossians 2:6-7
As Paul outlines here, Christians should be marked by thankfulness and cheerfulness. How can we not be, considering Jesus' work on the cross and our own heavenly calling?
We're called to be overflowing with thankfulness. Is this an accurate description of you? If not, now is the time to recommit yourself to a gratitude practice and let Jesus (and others!) know just how thankful you are.
Gratitude as a Practice
"Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." ~ Ephesians 5:18-20
Why a gratitude practice? Isn't this just something we should naturally do? Great questions!
In an ideal world, we'd remember to be thankful always. However, this is not the case, as we fill our schedules with to-do's and we lose sight of what really matters. We let petty disputes and unfulfilled wishes derail us from thanking God. We may even have the best intentions, but left to our own devices, we simply do not have the heart posture we should.
When you establish a daily or weekly rhythm surrounding gratitude, it's a fixed point in your day. Regardless of what you're experiencing, it's your time to pause, check-in with God, thank Him for your circumstances, and ask for guidance, too.
Let's take a closer look at the Ephesians passage above. Notice here how giving thanks is part of the list of things we must cultivate as part of our Christian faith—in addition to sing songs, pray, etc. We set aside time to worship and pray, why not set aside time to be thankful?
This does wonders for your soul, LiF sister.
How This Works Practically
"When the peace of Christ rules in our hearts, thankfulness overflows. Even in the darkest of times, we can praise God for his love, his sovereignty, and his promise to be near us when we call." ~ Psalm 145:18
Now that we've established why gratitude is a necessary practice cemented in early church history, it's time to outline what this looks like practically for you and me.
Keep in mind, there are no right or wrong answers here. We're all different, so it's only natural that different practices will work for us and foster a greater connection with Christ.
Here are some of our ideas for what to do as a gratitude practice:
- Take a prayer walk and thank God.
- Outline your gratitude in a journal.
- Make a point of sharing what God has been doing in your life with loved ones.
It doesn't matter what you do specifically, what does matter is that you're taking time out of your day to worship the Lord and humble yourself.
Thankful & Blessed
We hope this blog post gives you all the warm and fuzzy feelings today, LiF sister. Show the world just how grateful you are with our selection of super-cute, super-seasonal Christian t-shirts! Our LiF apparel and accessories serve as beloved reminders to you and the watching world that Jesus is King and He loves us.