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I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth…Many evils confront the Iconsistently] righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
- Psalm 11 34:1, 19
All of us know we need to be thankful. God tells us to do so, and we also know from our own experience that once we seriously start praising God, our burdens and our troubles seem to weigh less heavily on our shoulders.
That's part of the power of being thankful. As we pause to give thanks to God for what's good in our lives, we also appreciate what we have. I believe God wants us to be grateful people-people who are filled with gratitude not only toward God, but also toward other people. That's my first tip: When someone does anything nice for you, let that person know you appreciate it.
One day I was going into an office building, and a man standing nearby opened the door for me. I thanked him and smiled.
"You're the fifth person I've held the door for," he said, "and you're the first one to smile and the second to thank me."
I thanked him a second time. Afterward, I thought how much we take others for granted, even when they do such simple things as open a door for a stranger.
Instead of accepting that that's the way things are, we can develop a thankful mind.
Did your bus arrive on time today' If so, did you thank the driver? When you ate at the restaurant, did you thank the waiter for filling your coffee cup a second time without being asked? I could go on and on, but that's the point I want to make: Develop an attitude of gratitude toward the people in your life.
Here’s another tip: Appreciate your family members, especially the person to whom you're married. I appreciate Dave, and even though we've been married a long time, I still tell him that I appreciate him. He's patient with me and thoughtful. Just those few words of thanks are a great way to develop a thankful mind and heart.
Try this: When you express appreciation, it's good for the other person to hear the words, but also remember that it releases joy in you. You enrich both your life and another person's life, even in small ways.
Another thing you can do is meditate daily on things for which you can be thankful. I have a friend who won't get out of bed in the morning until he has thanked God for at least ten things. He counts them on his fingers, and they're small things really, such as having a reliable car to drive, being a member of an exciting Sunday school class, or just being thankful that he's healthy.
He says that at night he goes to sleep by focusing on at least three things that went well that day. He relives those three positive things. For him, it can be as simple as his supervisor telling him what a good job he did on a project, or an affirming e-mail from a friend.
Here's another tip: Be thankful for the honesty in other people. No one likes to hear negative things, but sometimes you need to hear them Of course, they may momentarily hurt your feelings, but you still can learn and grow from the experience.
I have a friend who says, "Only two people will tell you the truth about yourself: someone who's angry at you and someone who loves you very much." God uses both types of people in our lives.
So be thankful for people who tell you the truth about yourself, even if it's not what you want to hear. When you hear the truth especially something of which you're not aware, you can change. And after you've changed, isn't that just one more thing for which you can be thankful?
God, thank You for all the good things You send into my life Thank You for all the terrible things You don't send into my life Thank You for the people in my life who help me grow closer to You and become a more thankful person. I pray this through Jesus the Savior. Amen.
From the book Battlefield of the Mind Devotional by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2006 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.