What’s the one thing that protects our mental and emotional health most? Gratitude. This I learned from AA. Grateful people become generous people. They become fearless. They overcome the world in Jesus’ name.
Grateful people have understood the secret to life. They learn that gratitude is the answer in every situation, no matter how they feel. Gratitude, therefore, speaks for faith; it acts obediently notwithstanding the gloomy look and feel of the situation. It prefers cheerfulness over sullenness; hope and joy over despairing frustration.
Every time I complained in AA I was admonished to be grateful, for what I had, not the least of which my sobriety.
Gratitude reeks of humility, to thank God sincerely for every little thing, for every experience, and for life itself.
Gratitude indwells itself in generosity, because generous people are grateful people. Gratitude has made them generous. The more generous we are the freer we are, because God blesses us by our knowing we don’t need the trinkets of the world.
And what cause for fear do grateful people have? They have no recourse for fear as the world would have them fear. Yet they do fear God in the reverent sense. Such a fear of God is implicit of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7).
So if gratitude makes us generous people, and if generosity makes us freer, and fear has nothing for us to engage in, then gratitude becomes the great virtue that speaks of kindness, justice, humility, and wisdom, and ultimately, love.
A Very Practical Power
Gratitude is the foremost way of experiencing the joy and delight of life no matter what is happening. Nothing can defeat the grateful person while they are feeling grateful.
As a virtue, gratitude must be the key input for life from the attitudinal perspective. Think about the control we empower for ourselves when we are grateful; we take away Satan’s delight.
Gratitude is like being shipwrecked on a deserted island, yet seeing the land for what it is; a very means of survival. Instead of the many inconsolable things, a decision is made to focus on the things we cannot do without that are there on that deserted island.
Gratitude indwells itself in generosity, because generous people are grateful people. Gratitude has made them generous. Gratitude has given them everything they need. By one attitude everything good is within grasp.
People who want for nothing have nothing to want.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.