Have you ever struggled with being thankful? I have. I used to think consciously trying to be thankful was for weak people who needed an emotional crutch. I thought thankful people hid from the harsh truth of reality. I’ve since changed my mind, thankfully. Here are 5 reasons why thankfulness is important.
1. Thankfulness is healthy. Thankfulness has been a subject of much scientific research. Scientists have found conclusively that thankfulness is better than a multi-vitamin. It has a beneficial impact on almost every major organ system in the body. Thankful people live healthier lives.
2. Thankfulness is God’s will. Evidently, God created us to be thankful. In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 it says, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Ever wondered what God’s will for you was? It’s God’s will for us to be thankful. We can be thankful in every situation because we know he loves us and is working for our good.
3. Thankfulness is a great witness. We should be concerned to some degree with how the world views us as Christians. How do they see us? Sadly, many professing Christians have little to no joy. They frown more than smile, and complain more than praise. Many believers tie their thankfulness to politics. That means they often listen to conservative talk radio a ton. Then they wonder why they have no joy. There is so much fighting in the world. Being thankful is a great witness. When we’re thankful we stand out like stars in the night sky (Philippians 2:14-15).
4. Thankfulness is a way of serving. I’ve heard that we should assume that everyone we meet during the day is discouraged in some area of life. I think that’s not far from reality. We can offer hope by saying thank you, and through words of encouragement. Never underestimate the power of a thank you note, smile, or a phone call.
5. Thankfulness builds our faith. Ever struggled with a victim’s mentality? When we see ourselves as victims we blame others for our situation. We’re not happy and it’s always someone else’s fault. We are where we are in life because we have been mistreated. Here’s how the victim talks:
“If only my father had treated me differently.”
“If only my boss weren’t such a jerk.”
“If only our government leaders would work together with integrity things would be different for me.”
“If only people would talk to me then I wouldn’t be lonely.”
Thinking like a victim leaves us hopeless, discouraged, disempowered, and lifeless. We give up. We consign ourselves to a life of mediocrity and frustration.
God doesn’t want us to think like that. Be thankful. When we are thankful we remind ourselves of all that God has done. We stop thinking about other people, and the wrongs done to us, and we think about the greatness of our Savior. We begin to believe again. When we are thankful we take the control of our life back. It’s no longer in the hands of some other person, or situation. Faith arises when we realize God is in control and we are partnering with him to do a great work. We stop saying, “If only!” and we start saying, “Why not?”
How’s your thankfulness going? It’s important. It could be the key to your breakthrough!