Being Grateful Saves Lives!
I Thessalonians 5:18 "... give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus!"
"The moment we find thankfulness in any area of life, is the moment we have not only conquered, but also put ourselves in position, to receive the blessings of God." - Don Schaefer
It was about 30 years ago that I had to learn a powerful lesson in life that has truly opened up a great deal of opportunity for me. At that time I was taught that problems were good for me and I first said to myself "You got to be kidding me!" In my infinite wisdom prior, I always became terribly upset when issues came my way not realizing that they are blessings being sent from our Creator. Some of you are probably thinking that Don has lost his mind... stay with me on this and let's see if we can uncover some nuggets of thought here.
I remember the looks on their faces... they had been fighting for a number of days, hadn't slept well and hardly talked to each other and now they came to see Shirley and I about putting a band aid on their marriage and making it perfect again. We had counseled them before marriage and married them the year before. What I told them was not what they really wanted to hear... I told them how happy I was to hear that they had issues... for it is only through issues and the handling of them correctly that relationships get stronger.
Our problems are some of our best training tools that we'll ever have if we have the right attitude towards them. When we can be thankful for them, they can become a tool that will guide us through many of the issues of life. What I am hoping for you here is to give you an opportunity to allow change to come into your life by tapping into the power of being thankful.
In my extensive travels of life I have come to the conclusion that there are the haves and the have not's... those who are thankful and grateful and those who grumble and complain. And those who are thankful and grateful are 100 times happier than those who grumble and complain. Therefore it only makes good sense for all of us to learn how to become thankful and grateful in all circumstances. It is even interesting when I watch the lives of those in some of my classes... it certainly seems to me that those who show gratefulness for what they are being taught appear to receive so much more than those who don't. I love it when people thank me for what I teach them, not just because it encourages me, but I know then that they have opened themselves up, sometimes unknowingly, to receive the blessing that comes along with the classes.
There is also something else that comes along with being thankful and that is the unlocking of depressive emotions. So many people have to deal with depressive emotions at various times in their lives, and our Creator has given us the perfect prescription for that and that is thankfulness. It changes the chemical makeup inside us, for just like oil and water, you can't be depressed and thankful at the same time. I want you to try this out... take something in your life that normally makes you feel depressed and get yourself thankful for it and see if there isn't a change that starts happening. And then take the same situation and start to grumble and complain and see if it gets you in a deeper depressed start.
I had a boss a number of years ago that use to say, "Don, you always see the glass being half full instead of being half empty"... I asked him what he meant by that... he said that I always see the good in everything, rather than seeing the negative and the glass being half empty. Life seems to be so much easier when a person can stay positive and thankful no matter what the circumstances are.
I don't know about you but when I find a happy person, I usually find a grateful person, they are so easy to be around and you know that they will appreciate everything you do for them. There is nothing harder for me than to try make a negative and ungrateful person happy... you just know that they are missing out on so much that life has to offer and in most cases don't even realize it... how sad is this.
It seems that if you have a genuine appreciation in life then you can't help but have a positive attitude. One of the greatest gifts you can give a child is to teach them how to be grateful and thankful... you will give them qualities of a natural leader and a person that others will want to be around. The future of our world needs more of this type of person and the best teacher in your world or circle is you.
No matter what life throws at you... if it throws a lemon at you, you make lemonade out of it and you press on. We can't decide just what is going to be thrown at us in life but we can decide just how we are going to handle it. I have a good friend in life that has taught me much in regard to this and his answer to a bad situation is to get over it! Don't sit around messing your mind up by not letting it go.
We are being challenged to find reasons to be thankful in every struggling situation... not necessary for it but in the situation. This is one of the keys our Creator has given us to have the life that He has designed for... a life filled with joy and abundance.
Now I am going to encourage you to commit yourself to the process of developing the habit of seeing the good and being grateful and thankful in every situation. If you choose this process, you might just find the better you and more happiness than you deserve. As with all habits, it will require you to see, think, and most important speak words of gratitude and thankfulness for the upcoming 21 days... if you catch yourself being negative by grumbling and complaining you need to start over on the 21 days.
Another thing I would like for you to do is to write on a sheet of paper right now at least 21 things that you are thankful for. If you are reading this sentence and have not done this you need to stop right now and write your list for this process to work. Now, whenever you start feeling down on life... I want you to take this list and start reading it.
Another thing that has helped me greatly is whenever someone compliments you for anything, start writing it down on your own compliment list. This list has helped me greatly to remain thankful for who I am and what I am doing and will be helpful I'm sure for you also.
By now, you should already be feeling the power and experiencing a change in how you see and understand life. The thought I want to leave you with is that your gratitude is such a powerful emotion that it will touch the lives of everyone that is around you. What a special gift you can give by helping others to be saved from a life of misery as you have been.