Gratitude has lost its luster.
At least, it has in my life.
Yes, I’m grateful for things.
I thank God in my prayers.
I know the ways I’ve been blessed.
I write thank-you notes.
I read the Bible verses that tell me to rejoice.
Basically, I know that gratitude is important. I understand it’s power. I’ve seen it work.
And yet, I’m still limiting its potential.
No. Scratch that.
I’m limiting what God can do through gratitude’s potential.
Now, do I really have the power to limit God? No.
But I’m tired of letting gratitude lie dusty on a shelf.
Sure, it’s still there, sitting pretty where I can see it. I even pick it up sometimes and rotate it gently in my hands.
But I never polish it. Never make it glisten. Never let it shine.
And I think it shows.
Because, while I’m grateful, I also complain.
I forget the good things God has done.
And I spend a lot of time thinking about the life I want to be living instead of the one I’m living right now.
You see, many of us know how to “do gratitude”, especially at this time of the year.
We celebrate Thanksgiving, a whole day dedicated to being grateful.
We make hand turkeys with every feather listing a blessing.
We go around the table and allow each person to say one thing they’re thankful for.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with all of that. In fact, those are great next steps in making gratitude a priority.
And yet, gratitude still isn’t shining out from our lives in the way that it should.
But why does it matter?
Because every day we are fighting a battle with the enemy of our souls.
In those day- to- day struggles, the enemy would love nothing more than to hinder us, distract us, lie to us, and tear us away from each other.
And he would love nothing more than for gratitude (and all of its potential) to be just a dusty relic on the shelf.
But relics aren’t going to cut it. We need weapons.
So what could happen if we intentionally incorporated gratitude into our thoughts, speech, and lifestyles?
How could practicing radical gratitude change our lives?
Like I said earlier, I’m no expert at this.
But let’s just imagine the potential for a minute.
You see, if we dusted off our gratitude, I believe its reflection would shine more of Jesus into our lives.
Because where fear whispers all the ways we might mess up, gratitude reminds us about the good things that come from a great God.
Where the enemy coaxes us to believe that we just aren’t enough, gratitude highlights our blessings, showing us that, sure, we may be incapable, but God is not.
And where apathy threatens to render us useless, gratitude lights a fire in our bellies to notice beauty and all the ways it can grow.
So this Thanksgiving, let’s stop passing by gratitude rusting away.
Instead, let’s pursue it. Let’s practice it. Let’s polish it.
Until it shines again.