We live in a turbulent world, with its unexpected twists and turns. Our sense of security and purpose are not only challenged, but appears to be disappearing beyond our reach.
How can we overcome such unprecedented onslaught on our mental and physical health?
The answer is found in the ancient secret of practicing and developing an attitude of Gratitude. The Bible puts it this way: - Luke 16:10 "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much” (NIV version).
It is not how much we have, it is being able to recognise that what we do have is a blessing.
Nevertheless, forming a new life habit is initially always problematic because there is a mental cost in learning to switch our thinking from a proverbial half empty glass outlook, to embracing humility and gratitude in what we have already received.
9 Steps to developing an attitude of gratitude
1. Don't forget your salvation in Christ because it provides you with many benefits. An example is your free access to the creator of the universe.
2. Remember that your problems will not last forever, even if they appear so suffocating at present. You see, just as night will always give way to day, there is always an answer to every problem.
The book of Ecclesiastes states that there is nothing new under the sun. So, if you are going through something unpleasant, understand that someone else has already gone through something similar and through perseverance, managed to overcome. You too can overcome. The Bible is full of examples of ordinary people who despite setbacks, managed to overcome. The solution is yours to discover in faith.
3. Learn to forgive. Forgiveness is a decision, not an emotion.
Remember that at some point in all our lives, we may have intentionally or unintentionally hurt others. This may have been in a different way or different circumstances to the way we have been hurt. Nevertheless, we sought forgiveness from others so we must resolve to forgive those who do wrong things to us.
4. Be grateful for your loved ones, even those who are no longer with you. Be grateful that you were blessed to have crossed life paths with them, shared sweet memories and laughter. Be grateful for the beautiful memories they have left you.
5. Be grateful for your support system of church brethren, neighbours, kind work colleagues, kind strangers etc., who have been there for you or were there for you at your time of need.
6. Be grateful for your skills, experiences and natural giftings that God has blessed you with or has enabled you to acquire.
7. Be grateful for your life goals. It gives you momentum in life.
8. Be grateful for your positive contribution to the life of others. Resolve to give to those less fortunate than you - your love, time, money and attention. It’s a fact, giving to others helps you to acquire a grateful attitude.
9. Be grateful for who you are - your genes, cultural background and skin colour. God made you an original!