December 12, 2022
Years ago we had a precious older couple who would give and invest thousands of dollars to the vision of Church on the Rock. Their names were Tex and Helen. They had a successful career as accountants as well as made some pretty smart investments in their early years that left them extremely wealthy.
One night as we had dinner with them, I asked them, “Tex and Helen, why did you choose us? There are plenty of other pastors and churches in the area that are doing great works, what made you want to give to our mission?” Helen paused before she replied and said, “To be honest Pastor, we met with several other pastors before you, but you were the only one who sent us a thank you note. Your gratitude and appreciation let us know that this was where God was calling us to invest.”
Gratitude is a powerful thing. Studies tell us that gratitude can make people happier, improve relationships, and potentially even stop depression.
Gratitude also boosts self-esteem. "Expressing gratitude can positively change your brain," says Kristin Francis, a psychiatrist at Huntsman Mental Health Institute. "It boosts dopamine and serotonin, the neurotransmitters in the brain that improve your mood immediately, giving you those positive feelings of pleasure, happiness, and well-being.”
"Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude."
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude."
— A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
Not only is gratitude good for you mentally, but it’s also good for you spiritually. Look what the Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, "Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will]. Notice two things: First, we aren’t to thank God for everything, but IN everything. No matter how bad it gets we can find something to thank God for. Second, gratitude actually reveals God’s will for my life and connects me to it!
Ryan Holiday, author of the Obstacle is the Way, says one day of thanksgiving isn’t enough. Gratitude should be a daily practice. Here are a few practical things you can do to help you get into the gratitude attitude:
- Start a gratitude journal — Everyday during your quiet time write down all the good things that God has done and is doing in your life.
- Commit to telling one person each day thank you — If you have people in your life to whom you feel you "owe" some happiness or success, visit them in person and tell them how much they mean to you. Or, if you have a friend or co-worker that has helped you or encouraged you, make them feel special by thanking them and telling them how much you appreciate them.
- Create a Gratitude Group — Find a group of people with whom you can hold yourself accountable. Maybe it’s over coffee or over text but create a time where you can share with each other what you’re thankful for.
- Self-Appreciation — This is a good one that my friend and mental toughness coach Jason Selk taught me. Every night before you go to bed write down 3-5 things you did right that day and watch how it changes your outlook.
If you and I want to have an unstoppable 2023 — let’s start with having an attitude of relentless gratitude!
Positive Imaging by Norman Vincent Peale
If this Leadership Lifter was a blessing to you, please pass on to someone else!
God is for You!
COTR Marketplace Ministries is a ministry for those in the marketplace and those interested in starting a business. Lifelong learners, entrepreneurs, businessmen, and businesswomen, meet to grow in their leadership and skills. This is a great place to network, build relationships and exchange ideas!
Join us on January 14, 2023 at 5pm in the main campus lobby. We will have guest speaker, acclaimed author, Dr. Eli Jones. He is is an academic administrator, entrepreneur, professor, business leader, and author of "Run Toward Your Goliaths". His faith journey will inspire you to face your insurmountable challenges.
Dinner and childcare will be provided. Purchase your tickets online for just $12 or $15 at the door.