We have spent the last three weeks as a community focusing on gratitude, specifically, how finding contentment leads to gratitude; how slowing down can be a catalyst to a grateful heart, and finally, how gratitude fuels worship. To catch up on these sermons, follow this link.
As we enter into the Holiday Season that can so easily become crowded with desires and wishes for more material objects, there is an invitation from the Lord to practice gratitude. Let’s look at a couple practical ways we can incorporate a spirit of gratitude into the everyday rhythm’s of life.
Before my wife Mallory and I moved to the Middle East as missionaries, we were given advice to create a “gratitude board.” This is a simple white board, chalk board, really anything you can write on, that you keep in a high traffic area in your home. The concept is simple; record three things you are grateful for everyday. The gratitude board not only helps you record and keep track of the things you are thankful for, it also causes you to begin looking for things to be grateful for. We can always find something to be grateful for if we are searching.
A second practice we can do is cultivate a grateful atmosphere around meals. Whether it is with our family or having friends at our table, we can ask the simple question, “What is one thing you are grateful for.” My wife and I do this a few times a week with our girls. This is a great way to review the day and to land on an area that we can thank God for. It is also a beautiful way to build community. Have friends over and ask this simple question and give each other room to process.
In the end, gratitude is not just something we wait around for. It is a heart posture that we can choose to accept and can be cultivated through simple daily actions.