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  • Writer's pictureBrett

Are You Having a Hard Time Being Thankful?

Let’s just get this out of the way…most people are not ungrateful.

I suppose there are a few:

Ruthless critics who only complain and feel everyone and everything is against them. Instead of grateful they are hateful.

The few entitled folks who seem to feel they deserve any good thing they get. They can only see the world as existing to make them happy. Most age out of that eventually but not all.

They are the exceptions.

You, however, are a grateful person, but that doesn’t mean it is easy to be thankful.

Especially right now. Inflation, supply chain issues, work always being short staffed and no matter how much we want Covid to go away, it hasn’t. I get it.

Having a sense of gratitude and being thankful is hard when things are hard.

There is the sappy Hallmark movie or the always over-the-top family member who will try to get us to pause and “be thankful”, yet those don’t seem too authentic.

Maybe in the next few weeks around Thanksgiving you will actually get some quiet or have that rare moment that sparks something and you remember the good things in your life and how you appreciate them. Those are great, but unfortunately rare.

Let’s cut to the chase, does it matter if you are thankful or not? Is it an issue of manners or being polite?

There is something more to thankfulness than being a nice person. A great deal more. Ultimately your level of thankfulness is a big determiner in how hard hearted or soft hearted you are.

A hard heart may accomplish a lot but it is never able to have peace and it is signing up for a future filled with frustration. A soft heart enjoys rest (even when things are hard) and has real and full life to look forward to in the future.

Assuming you don’t want uneasiness now and frustration in the future, it is an easy choice. Not only does the soft heart avoid this but when you are thankful you end up braver, better connected and more aware.

I have a friend who is thankful, almost to a fault. He thanks me for calling him when I call and ask him to help me! He continually downplays challenges and obstacles in his life. He doesn’t ignore them, but he doesn’t obsess about them. He is too busy being grateful for all the great things in his life.

He has made being grateful a discipline in his life. I know we don’t usually associate discipline and saying “thanks” together but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense.

If we train our brains to express appreciation, to look at what we have instead of what we don’t have and see God as the source of every good and perfect gift, it changes us. So much so that being grateful and thankful is not hard even when things around us are hard.

My friend is a awesome. I look forward to being around him whenever I can. I am thankful for him. We have some things in common, but not a lot. We only connect every few months. Yet I ALWAYS walk away encouraged. Because he is so filled with gratitude, I am thankful for him.

You are grateful. Just be thankful, make it part of your life, even when things are hard. Not only will it change your heart but the people around you will end up being thankful for you. Your neighbors and co-workers will pause at some point and realize one of things they are thankful for is you. Incredible!

Do you want some help to get started?

Here is simple way to be grateful and thankful. Ask and answer these three questions and be sure to thank whoever is responsible!

1) What is one thing that amazes you about God? (hint thank Him)

2) Who is one person you love having in your life? (tell them)

3) What is one thing that brings you joy today? (thank who brought it)

Start (or end) your day asking and answering these questions and you will find your heart softening and you will be practicing thankfulness at a new level.


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