Give Thanks

Published on Nov 26th, 2014 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0
Give Thanks

Give Thanks

Don’t you just love when science and research catches up with the Bible?  A few years ago, USA today published an article about the positive effects that giving thanks has on emotions and overall well being.  In fact, they said that having a sense of gratitude can be “one of humanity’s most powerful emotions”.  Being grateful makes you happier and it often changes your attitude about life.  They shared that being grateful is “like an emotional rest button.” Michael McCullough, a University of Miami psychology professor, was quoted as saying, “When you are stopping and counting your blessings, you are sort of hijacking your emotional system.”  Just so that we understand that that is a good thing the article goes on to explain that you are hijacking it “from a funk into a good place.  A very good place.”  After more study psychologists have learned that being grateful is such a potent emotion that it feeds on itself. Being grateful breeds more gratitude which breeds more gratitude, etc, etc.  Another amazing finding is that being grateful connects us with other people.  Rather than simply taking people for granted or isolating ourselves, gratitude actually draws us toward people.  This, in turn, also makes us happier.  Maryann Troiani, a Chicago area psychologist and self-help book author, has said that she “starts getting clients on gratitude gradually, sometimes just by limiting their complaints to two whines a session”.  She then gets them to log in a diary all that they are grateful for and is finding that clients are getting a new attitude toward life.  If clients concentrate on being thankful for people and not simply possessions they find that relationships are deepened and mended.  Robert Emmons, a psychology professor at the University of California who has written two books on the science of gratitude, says that grateful people “feel more alert, alive, interested, enthusiastic.  They also feel more connected to others.”  He continues, “Gratitude also serves as a stress buffer.  Grateful people are less likely to experience envy, anger, resentment, regret and other unpleasant states that produce stress”.

Wow, those are a ton of benefits.  I am so glad they are learning all of these things about gratitude but maybe God knew this all along when he said, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”  I Thessalonians 5:18.  God wants us to be grateful because he knows it is best for us.  But God goes farther.  He understands that the only way to be truly grateful in all circumstances is if we are “in Christ Jesus”.  When we are in Christ Jesus then every circumstance has eternal value.  When those things have eternal value then we can truly give thanks in them.  So, today, give thanks.  Not just because it will make you a happier person but because God has, through Christ, made your life count for all of eternity.

 

 

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