Gratitude Why You Need It
Gratitude gratitude, what does it really mean? I know that most of us acknowledge the everyday sense of gratitude concept. For instance, how we feel when we receive a gift we like or feel recognized, how we appreciate gifts, recognition, compassion, or kindness shown to us. Someone said that gratitude is an attitude. I think that makes sense.
To some, it can be regarded as emotion, a moral value, a habit, a motive, a coping response, or even a way of life. However, the Oxford English Dictionary defines gratitude as “The quality or condition of being thankful; the appreciation of an inclination to return kindness.”
Gratitude Enables Us to Value and Recognize What We Have
When we show gratitude, we are indirectly saying that we acknowledge the goodness in our lives. It may not be a blissful life so far, but with a grateful heart we affirm that all things considered, our life is good and worth thanking God for.
It helps us to recognize the source. As we receive kindness from others and from Higher Power it humbles us to realize that we can’t be all we are or intend to be without the help of others of course God’s grace. Living a Life of Gratitude Even During Tough Times
Gratitude is deeper than having a positive thought. It goes to show an abiding recognition and acknowledgment that despite how awful a situation is, that goodness still exists under even the worst that life throws at us. Gratitude is very important for our spiritual, and intellectual health. Can you imagine a relationship where there is no exchange of thankfulness and daily regular appreciation?
I have seen it in my own life experience with family members and friends, when I’m grateful, thankful, and appreciative of my spouse, children, or siblings, they also feel more loving, forgiving, happy, and connected.
One of the important benefits of living a life of gratitude is that it enables one to enjoy positive emotions, which include joy, love, happiness, and enthusiasm. It helps to protect a person who practices the discipline of gratitude from the harmful impulses of envy, greed, bitterness, and unforgiveness.
Epictetus, the great philosopher once said this, “ He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.https://www.dictionary.com/browse/appreciation
Gratitude is universally accepted and recognized, and praised, while ingratitude is condemned. And gratitude is a choice. We are free to choose how to respond or react to life’s circumstances, be it wealth, health, beauty, poverty, etc. I can choose to be grateful even when I’m criticized, we decide to choose forgiveness against revenge, joy against bitterness.; not that we accept the evil, but we don’t want to give it power over us.
We are to make the conscious decisions to see blessings, instead of curses, success instead of failure. Love instead of hate, abundance instead of lack. This ability may not come easily to many of us. Like me, I’m still learning day by day. I have made the choice, but often time, some situations will arise to challenge my decision or choice. Choosing to live a grateful life doesn’t come naturally, or effortlessly, I don’t know about you. It is a very pleasant trait to have, but I tell you it is not easy, just like forgiveness is good and healthy but not easy to do.
For some of us, it is easy to be grateful and gleeful when life is at its best. When we just checked our bank account and is loaded in hundreds of thousands and millions, or when the romance is fresh, and when we feel healthy, and high mentally. But if things turn to be the reverse, for instance, when you don’t know how you will feed the family, pay the next bills, or the love you have shown was not returned, the partner has developed an indifferent attitude, the teenager is becoming hostile and disrespectful. How do you react? What comes to your mind?
Be Grateful No Matter the Situation
Let us avoid focusing on what is lacking in our life. Let us focus on what we got already. And the most important of what we got is our health which is our natural wealth. We can’t feel heartbroken and feel grateful when it seems our dreams are dashed It is hard, but not impossible. As a matter of fact, that is the time that it is highly-priced. This evening I was just sharing with a friend who just lost her job in a company she has worked for 13 years as a manager.
She was sharing how devastating she feels, worrying about losing her health insurance, not sure of how she will pay her mortgage and other bills and still put food on the table for her children as a single mother. She was just rehearsing all the negatives. I told her to take it easy on herself, and that she can as well list some of the good opportunities that can come out of this big loss.
And that more importantly, as a believer, that she has to be grateful to God and commit the situation to Him. I told her that if she can start remembering how God has cared for her and her family in the past, that she will be grateful even at this devastating time.
After all, the word of God instructs us to give thanks in all circumstances. But it doesn’t tell us we have to be clapping with joy. But if we can give thanks intentionally, in our depths of despairs, it will signify our trust in His promises.