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Attitude of gratitude

Faithful utterances
Attitude of gratitude

by PRIDE Newsdesk

Dr. Froswa Booker-Drew

My electricity went out on Saturday. As I scanned the outage map on my phone, there were many homes in different communities that lost their power as well. The intense winds contributed to some power lines going down. It was a reminder of the ‘Snowmaggeden’ experience that happened last year. I was frustrated because I was planning to speak at a virtual conference and there was nothing I could do about it. On top of that, my washer stopped working right before the lights went out. In the moment I felt: ‘Why is this happening to me?’

I had an array of emotions, but all I could do was sigh and do what I could. I could not allow my frustration to overwhelm me because it’s in those moments (I’ve learned from the past) that you can make decisions that are rushed and irrational. So often life brings challenges that are beyond our control. It’s easy to focus on the challenges around you instead of recognizing the goodness of God. We can become so fixated on what’s not working without being grateful for everything that is working. Inconveniences of life will happen, but will we allow those issues to jade all the good that we receive every day?

In a world that focuses so often on what’s wrong, we can easily develop an attitude of seeing the glass ‘half empty’ instead of ‘half full.’ According to Harvard Health Publishing: “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” Greater Good magazine of Berkeley referenced a study that stated: “Women who kept a gratitude journal where they wrote about ‘previously unappreciated people and things in their lives’ for two weeks ended up with lower blood pressure than those who wrote about daily events. This and other results suggest that feeling gratitude can be good for healthy hearts.”

When we wallow in our feelings, our heart health, and our spiritual health deal with consequences. As illustrated previously, there are consequences to our health but spiritually, if we are not careful, our hearts can become hardened because of disappointment. Disappointment can lead us to rely on ourselves more because at the core, we feel as if we can’t trust God or others. It’s okay to feel disappointment but we cannot allow ourselves to be defined by it—or the situations we face that cause us to feel frustrated, anxious, or afraid. So how do you have an attitude of gratitude even when the world seems to be falling apart?

There are scriptures that can help us find the answers we need:

  • “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you,” 1 Thessalonians 5:18. No matter what we face, God wants us to find the good in what we go through. It isn’t to ignore the reality you face but it is knowing that our attitude can make a difference in getting through difficulties.
  • “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it,” Psalm 118:24. Every day we wake up on this side of the dirt is a gift. That calls for a celebration that God has more for us to do. Let’s get to fulfilling our purpose and plan.
  • “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you,” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Even when I experienced the power outage and my washer’s unwillingness to cooperate, I found myself praying. It’s in the moments that I’m learning that I can call family or a friend but why not reach out to the Creator who knew this was going to happen before I did?

We are blessed with a new day every morning we wake up. Each day God gives us more chances, more grace, more mercy. If God can extend this to us, how can we make ourselves ready to receive these gifts? Yesterday was hard but today is a new day for good things to happen. Believe and receive it! Let’s commit in 2022 to living our lives filled with gratitude.

(Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew is the founder/CEO of Soulstice Consultancy, specializing as a partnership broker and leadership expert for companies and organizations to thrive with measurable and meaningful impact. She also is the vice president of community affairs and strategic alliances for the State Fair of Texas.)

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