Why You Need to be Grateful–Today!

Over the weekend I read an article by Jennifer Breheny Wallace about the importance–I would say necessity–of gratitude and why it should be a big part of our lives.

The article ostensibly had to do with entitled children and their expectation that all of the world should revolve around them. But it soon became an article espousing the importance of gratitude at any age.

Why is gratitude so important–not just at Thanksgiving?

First, gratitude–such as counting your blessings–is associated with reduced anxiety, depression, and a greater sense of general well-being. Research has also found that gratitude that is expressed to God gives even more reductions in depression, anxiety, and more of a sense of well-being.

Second, being grateful seems to give us a greater ability to cope with the struggles of life. It gives us a “build-in coping strategy.” “Grateful people experience daily hassles and annoyances just like everyone else, but they tend to view setbacks through a different lens, reframing challenges in a positive light.”

Third, gratitude in a child sets up the child to thrive in the future. Gratitude begins an “upward spiral of positive emotions.” Children who have been taught to be thankful tend to be happier, less depressed, and more supportive of their friends.

Children and young people who are grateful are normally the kids other people want to be around. Gratitude seems to set up the child for long-term good and success. Like everything else, children learn best what they see their parents doing.

We should ask ourselves, “Am I as grateful as I should be, and am I teaching my children to do so as well?” Teaching your children now will affect how well they live in the future.

This leads me to ask, “Can we really do without church, the Bible, and God?”

Finally, God’s Word tells us to “give thanks in all things” and to “be grateful.” For the committed follower of Christ, this should be reason enough.

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble. — Psalm 119:165 (NIV)