Do you have an attitude of gratitude? Do you look for things to be thankful for? If not, you are missing a wonderful opportunity to set yourself up for many blessings.
I used to teach elementary school. It didn’t take me long to learn the most important person in the school wasn’t the principal…it was the custodian. I immediately became fast friends with the custodians at any school I worked at because they had the keys to the city. They worked harder than anyone in the school and received the least amount of recognition. A lot of people didn’t even take the time to learn their names. Not only did they take care of the entire school, they knew where everything was and everything that was going on.
When I taught in North Carolina, I had the privilege to work with May and James. They were two very unique individuals who no more went together than grape jelly and pickles, but they were quite a team. I thanked them for everything they did for me and my kids. Every time I saw them in the hallways, I thanked them for their hard work.
Whenever I needed anything for my classroom, it would just magically appear. I would be in a staff meeting where several teachers would request the same supplies and we would be told by administration they weren’t available; then the next day, those supplies would be sitting on my desk.
Now, don’t get me wrong, you don’t show your gratitude just to get things. It is all about recognition. I made an effort to recognize what the custodians did for me because they were a blessing to me in what they did for our school. They saved me time and energy by providing a service for me and my classroom. Whether the blessings showed up or not, I would and should have thanked them.
The same is true of God. We should pause and thank Him for all He has already done for us. We have so many things to thank Him for no matter what our current circumstances look like. We don’t thank Him as a form of manipulation to get Him to do something else for us. We thank Him because He is deserving of our gratitude and praise.
1 Chronicles 16:8-9 says “Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name; make known among the nations what He has done. Sing to Him, sing praise to Him; tell of all His wonderful acts.” One of the purposes of thanking the Lord for what He does for us is to be a witness to others of His goodness. People tend to reflect their earthly father’s image onto God and see God that way. If they didn’t have a positive earthly Father, they may not have a true image of how good God is. Your thankful praises may be the first introduction to God’s goodness. God blesses us by allowing us to share who He is with others and witness the transformation of their life as a result.
Psalm 28:7 says “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song.” David was calling out to God in a time of distress, claiming the Lord as His strength and thanking Him. When we are in difficult times, we need to be calling out to God and thanking Him for being our strong tower. As we spend time praising Him and thanking Him, our faith is strengthened and we are able to go through whatever we are facing. He blesses us in our struggles through thanksgiving.
It has been my experience that if you take time to thank others, you are also blessed in your spirit. Your step gets a little lighter and you find yourself in a better mood. Not only does it change your mood, but it tends to change the mood of the person you are thanking.
No one owes us anything and we owe God everything. When we recognize that about ourselves, our whole attitude changes and it becomes an attitude of gratitude which changes us from the inside out and it also changes those around us. Isn’t it time for a makeover of the atmosphere around you? Begin making things happen today with an attitude of gratitude!