My daughter-in-law recently posted the following meme on her Facebook wall:
“When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile.”
I smiled to myself when I read it, as my son and daughter-in-law were only married this past summer, and I imagine they have many more hundreds and thousands of reasons to cry and smile coming their way. But I loved the message in her post: #attitudeofgratitude.
At this time of the year we all tend to get a little more reflective, don’t we? Many of us have the tradition of going around the Thanksgiving table prior to consuming the bountiful blessings upon it, and having everyone present share something they are thankful for. Gratitude takes some cultivation; a humble heart is the perfect prelude to a thankful heart, and gratitude is truly the parent of all other virtues. Thus: #attitudeofgratitude.
There are many passages of Scripture that encourage us to be thankful. It is a prerequisite to worship (Psalm 100:4) and the will of God (I Thess. 5:18). But possibly my favorite verse that mentions thanksgiving is Philippians 4:16:
“Do not be anxious about anything. But in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
(NIV, emphasis mine)
There are some real absolute words in this verse. Anything. Every situation. Really? Yes. God wants us to present our requests to Him instead of worrying about them. All. The. Time. But we often miss that little clause in the middle of the verse. How are we to pray and petition God? With thanksgiving.
In other words: #attitudeofgratitude. How is yours today?