A Heart of Gratitude

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Full Circle Moments with Cheryl Shepherd


I’ve recently been thinking about all I have to be grateful for in my life, but even more than that, how much it has impacted me to be on the receiving end of gratitude and even just being in the presence of grateful people.

Feeling appreciated is important to us all. Being recognized for sacrifice and hard work is a fuel that propels us forward and a compass that often allows us to navigate life’s treacherous waters. Gratitude is a powerful virtue that holds immense significance in the life of a Christian. It is not merely a fleeting feeling of thankfulness, but rather a transformative attitude that can shape our perspective, relationships, and overall well-being. When we cultivate a heart of gratitude, we open ourselves up to experiencing the abundant blessings and grace that God has given us.

There are more examples of the profound effects of gratitude in our daily life than can be counted.
First and one of the most important things gratitude creates, is that it deepens our relationship with God. Gratitude is an expression of our faith and trust in God’s providence. When we acknowledge and appreciate the blessings He has given us, we draw closer to Him. Gratitude helps us recognize His hand in every aspect of our lives, leading to a deeper sense of intimacy and connection with our Heavenly Father.

Additionally gratitude shifts our focus from lack to abundance. In a world that often emphasizes what we lack, gratitude redirects our attention to the abundance that surrounds us. As Christians, we are called to be content in all circumstances, and gratitude helps us cultivate a mindset of contentment. It reminds us of the countless blessings we have received, both big and small, and helps us appreciate the richness of God’s provision.

Gratitude also strengthens our relationships. Living in a place of focusing on what we are grateful for, has the power to transform our interactions with others. When we express gratitude towards our loved ones, friends, and even strangers, we create an atmosphere of love, appreciation, and encouragement. Gratitude fosters humility which is essential in helping us recognize the value and worth of those around us. It strengthens our relationships and builds a sense of community within the body of Christ.

It inspires generosity and service. Gratitude is not meant to be kept to ourselves; it compels us to share our blessings with others. As Christians, we are called to be generous and serve those in need. Gratitude fuels our desire to give back, to be a blessing to others, and to share the love of Christ through our actions. It motivates us to be compassionate, kind, and selfless in our interactions with others.

Gratitude actually enhances our overall well-being and should be considered a part of our wellness plan. Numerous studies have shown that gratitude has a positive impact on our mental, emotional, and physical well-being. When we practice gratitude, our stress levels decrease, and our overall happiness and satisfaction increase. Gratitude helps us develop a positive outlook on life, even in the midst of challenges, and promotes a sense of peace and contentment.

I have concluded that cultivating the habit and awareness of living in a constant state of gratitude is a transformative attitude that will reap rewards for years and even generations to come. So if being grateful has such a profound effect on us and everyone around us. If it deepens our relationship with God, shifts our focus from lack to abundance, strengthens our relationships, enhances our overall well-being, and inspires generosity and service then why are we not more conscious of living in a constant state of gratitude? Well, because it’s impossible to be grateful and hateful or resentful or grumpy simultaneously. We have to choose one or the other.

My prayer for us all is that we choose to begin our day by focusing on cultivating a heart of gratitude. Lets remember to give thanks to God for His immeasurable love and grace, and to express our gratitude to those around us.

Lets choose gratitude and choose to make gratitude a constant presence in our lives, shaping us into the image of Christ and bringing glory to God.

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