Weekly Thought – September 17, 2019
Fred’s capacity for gratitude was well known among his friends and family. He believed in the power of appreciation. And he sincerely believed he had nothing that he had not been given by God. He saw himself as a steward and managed well.
Work continues on the What’s Next Roundtable at Palm Beach Atlantic University in November. Financial support is needed and would be received with genuine gratitude. The men and women who are preparing for this event eagerly expect to see what God has in mind for them and the students.
A well-known woman of international fame called me one day and said soberly, “Fred, I have just been diagnosed with breast cancer.” My immediate response, “List your assets.” When people come to me wanting to talk about their problems this is the exercise I recommend.
Invariably, they start with their financial resources. They rarely think of their spiritual assets at first. For example, a troubled man walked into my office. I asked him to list his assets. “Well, I have a bank account, but there isn’t much in it. I have a little equity in my home.” After a few items like this, I said, “Let’s stop and go back a little bit. Are you alive?”
“Well, yes…” “Good, you look that way to me and some people, especially those in the ICUs and the terminally ill think of that as a strong asset.” I continued, “You’re healthy?” “Yeah.” “You have a loving wife and a good family?” “Yes.”
As we sat there I queried “Do you have an education?” “Of course.” “How about work experience?” “Yes.”
“Okay, now that we have established the major assets, we can look at the minor ones like money.”
When I sit with someone and see a breakthrough in a session like this I know we have a gratitude foundation from which to operate. We can start attacking their problems with a different perspective. If they answer the first questions with a “yes, but…” I know my job isn’t finished yet. They still haven’t grasped the power of gratitude. They are still not grateful.
They are still wanting something more. Gratitude is being grateful for what you have, not for what you hope to get. I was reading in the Psalms and it said to honor God for what He has done. It doesn’t say honor Him for what He is going to do. Gratitude, like honor, is a reaction to what is, not what you want to come.
In my reading I found a study saying gratitude is the emotion with the longest shelf life… that those with a grateful spirit are prone to better mental health. The old hymnist never read this study, but certainly expressed in the words, “Count your blessings, name them one by one… count your blessings, see what God has done.”
Being truly grateful is more than just a courteous “thank you.” Nurturing a mature attitude which demonstrates appreciation is a healthy exercise.
This week think about: 1) How healthy is my grateful spirit? 2) Who needs to hear from me with a message of appreciation? 3) What can I do to cultivate a culture of gratitude at work, in my family?
Words of Wisdom: “Gratitude, like honor, is a reaction to what is, not what you want to come.”
Wisdom from the Word: “The LORD strengthens and protects me; I trust in him with all my heart. I am rescued and my heart is full of joy; I will sing to him in gratitude.” (Psalm 28:7 NET Bible)