Daily Devotionals

The Effectiveness of a Thankful Heart

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“… I will bless you … so that you will be a blessing.”  Genesis 12:2


Did you know that our ability to be thankful is yet another gift from our loving God?  No other animal has this capability.  God knows better than we do how full of strife and temptation the world is, so he gave us a surefire way to beat the odds.  How cool is that – to have the answer key BEFORE we are ever tested. 

Think about it. If we live in a state of true thankfulness, would we lust after more than we have? Would our thankfulness curb our tendency toward envy and greed?  Would a thankful heart keep our pride from growing disproportionately to our contributions?  How effective would a thankful heart be at keeping gluttony, wrath, and sloth at bay?  None of the world’s greatest temptations can trump a truly thankful heart.

Thankfulness is THE relationship maker – keeping our relationship with God in proper alignment by acknowledging that all we are and all we have are gifts from God.  As it says in 1 Corinthians 10:31, “Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God.”  Our call to glorify God is deeply connected to our capacity for thankfulness.

Our families, friends, work associates, and even strangers benefit when we live in a state of thankfulness.  I know I am less stressed and anxious when I am thankful.  I am more respectful and compassionate when I am thankful.  And when I am deliberate in my thankfulness, good things happen.  

I have a job that is often stressful.  I bought this “purposeful” daily planner to help me maintain a better work-life balance.  As part of the planner, each day there is a section to list things you are thankful or grateful for.  I used to fill it out at the end of that day to recognize what went well.  After missing a few days in a row, I decided to list what I would be thankful for at the beginning of each day.  What a difference that made!  I was even less stressed and anxious than when I took time to be grateful at the end of the day for the very same things.  And I discovered that thankfulness is contagious!  The more purposeful I was in being thankful, the more others were as well.  

Think how awesome the world would be if we could infect everyone with hearts full of thanksgiving.  Be thankful.  After all, thankfulness is Divine.

Gracious and Heavenly Father, thank you for your many blessings.  May we with thankful hearts respond in kind and be the blessing to others you designed us to be.  Keep us ever mindful that we are all needy — for we all need your grace, mercy and forgiveness in equal measure. Open our eyes to the many opportunities to purposefully share our gratitude of your abundant love with others.  Amen. 

Submitted by Janet Jeter