Being thankful is one way you can get more enjoyment out of life


If you practice being thankful every day, it won't be long before you notice changes in your life.

Waiting in line at the grocery store isn't irritating--if you're happy that there's food available and you have money to buy it. Even the high price of gasoline isn't as distressing when you're grateful that you have a car to put it in.

Some Christians may take gratitude to an extreme, praising God for helping them get a parking place, shouting hallelujah when they find the TV remote control, breaking into song because the cafeteria is serving turkey today instead of liver. It can get a little silly.

But isn't it better to be grateful too much rather than not enough?

What does God hear?

If you tape recorded your daily conversations (prayers) with God, what would the tone of them be? Whining over inconsequential nuisances, or joy and optimism for the good parts of every day?

Our happiness depends on what we choose to focus on, and how we choose to respond to events.

Finding yourself on the whiny side could mean you need to change either your situation, or how you're responding to it. Sometimes we need to renew our faith in God and stop griping. But other times we need to make a change in where we are or where we're going.

What you get out of this attitude

In the United States, we have a national holiday called Thanksgiving, when people celebrate all the things they're grateful for. Except we've gotten into the dangerous habit of taking it all for granted, even the sumptuous holiday meal.

One of the better parts of this holiday is that it reunites families. When we spend time with people we love, we realize just how fortunate we are.

Being appreciative is just another side of gratitude. Sometimes we feel this way toward others, and for the help they've given us, but more often it's toward God.

Acknowledging God for his love and for our salvation, as well as our food and material blessings, takes us out of the negative "gripe" mode and puts us into the positive "grateful" mode.

Life is just more fun when you're grateful, and you're more fun to be around. That's important for us singles.

To enjoy life more...

Want to get more enjoyment out of life? Express gratitude to God more often! Be appreciative. Let others know that they matter to you. Say a silent prayer of appreciation when you cash your paycheck, before you eat every meal, and when you go to bed at night after feeling healthy all day.

Thank God before you read the Bible, because you know that he reveals himself to you through his Word. Tell him you're glad for the specific ways he's helped you in the past, then thank him ahead of time for how he's going to help you in the future. That's putting your faith into action.

When you've had an especially bad day, tell God at bedtime that you're relieved it's finally over and that he'll give you the gift of sleep so you can start fresh in the morning.

If you look for things to complain about, you'll find them. But if you look for things to thank God for, you'll find those too.

Which would you rather do?

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