Friday, April 1, 2011

More on Gratitude

I wanted to highlight a comment on the last post because it shows how gratitude can transform our daily living. Here is the comment

I was feeling slighted about a situation that happened at work yesterday, and still feeling angry about it this morning. Your comments on gratitude were just what I needed to hear; as I read it and began to feel gratitude for the many, many blessings of God in my life, I could literally feel the anger falling away and being deposited at the foot of the cross. God reminded me how important it was to have the right attitude about the situation, which first acknowledged and trusted Him to ultimately bring good out of it. It's funny how so many "important" slights can literally fade away in the light of God's love!

Practicing gratitude helps so much with being judgemental. We are prone to judge and Jesus clearly commands us not to judge (Matthew 7:1-5). One of the way in which we can learn not to judge is to think about one or two things we are thankful for in the person we are tempted to judge. As we think of the things we are thankful for in the person we find that we are getting a fuller picture of the person and not just focusing on the bad parts of the person.

The next step in learning not to judge is to pray for the person. We become mindful of the thing(s) we are thankful for and then move into asking God to bless the person. We don't ask God to make them like we want them to be. Instead we simply intercede before the Lord on their behalf. The combination of gratitude and prayer is very powerful in transforming our human relationships.

From this point we are in a place to asses the persons behavior and how it impacts our life. Now we are no longer working from anger or malice, instead we are grounded in prayer and thankfulness. From this place we are now free to act in love and make appropriate choices. I would also bring in a mature friend who can discern with us the next steps.

Gratitude melts our anger, gives us clearer vision, allows us to make prayerful choices that are based in love and not hate. Again we start simply where we are and thank the Lord for what is now.

No comments: