I’m reading Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas (Yes, that is an affiliate link. I’m liking it so much, I hope you’ll buy it too). Last week, I read something so profound I knew it had to be this week’s Springboard for Your Spiritual Life.
Consider the Corinthian church. It was seriously messed up. There was all kinds of division. There was immaturity. They were messing up the Lord’s Supper. They were botching up their assemblies. They were even arrogantly having fellowship with a man who was having sexual relations with his father’s wife. (Ugh!)
But notice how Paul began his letter. “I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus” (I Corinthians 1:4). WOW!!!
Despite all the junk going on in Corinth, Paul said, “I give thanks for you.” Paul found something to give thanks for even with the Corinthians and he did it always. I’m not sure we can fully mine all the amazing things from this one principle.
If we really want to lead great spiritual lives, gratitude is going to have to be a common practice. We even need to learn to be grateful with people and during times that just don’t seem to deserve it. We can either find all the bad things and talk about how much we hate them. Or we can find some things and thank God for them. I bet you can guess which one will make you a more spiritually minded person.
Here are some potential exercises to help you increase your gratitude. You don’t have to do them all at the same time. But making these a repeated part of your life will definitely improve your spirit and your attitude.
- List 20 things in general for which you are thankful today.
- Pick every member of your immediate family. Now list five things about each one for which you are thankful. I don’t mean, “I’m thankful for their health.” I mean thinks that make you thankful they are in your life.
- Think of 5 people that are causing you a great deal of irritation, stress, sorrow, or angst. Now list something about each one that you are thankful for.
- List 5 things about your job for which you are thankful.
- List 5 things about the congregation of which you are a part for which you are thankful.
- List 10 things about yourself for which you are thankful.
Be thankful today.
P.S. If you’d like to get some more great insights, check out Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas.