Gratitude

“What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits toward me?”(Psalm 116:12)

Here is the right motivation for living a productive life: gratitude for the life we’ve been given and the blessings we’ve received. I remember reading somewhere that life is God’s gift to us, and what we make out of it is our gift back to God. Thus, I respectfully beg to disagree with Kiyosaki (see my previous post, A Little Greed) when he says that a little greed is the cure for laziness. Gratitude, not greed, is what should motivate us to better ourselves. Psalm 103 lists down some of these tremendous benefits which we have freely received from our Maker: “He forgives all my sins, he heals all my diseases, he redeems my life from the pit and crowns me with love and compassion, he satisfies my desires with good things so that my youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

Interestingly, according to Emma Seppalla, Ph.D. (Science Director of Stanford’s Centre for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education), in her book The Happiness Track, “Research supports the idea that gratitude has tremendous benefits; gratitude not only boosts your well-being but also significantly strengthen professional skills.” Some of these benefits are the following:

Greater psychological well-being and health:
– improved positive emotion
– longer-lasting positive emotion
– buffering against stress and negativity
– decreased anxiety and depression
– reduced materialism
– improved sleep quality and duration

Improved professional skills:
– higher social intelligence
– improved relationships
– likability
– strengthened willpower
– better long-term decision making
– increased positive influence on others

Gratitude for benefits received benefits us spiritually, psychologically, and professionally! This sheds new light on the verse which says, “In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) God has our well-being in mind when he commands us to be always thankful.

unsplash-logoSimon Maage

Ikthus-Villa Angela Sermon (November 2013)

BUILDING A LIFE OF THANKSGIVING

TEXT: Acts 16:22-34

INTRODUCTION:

In spite of the crises we have recently faced both individually and as a nation we nevertheless give thanks in everything. Why? because we are the people of God. And thanksgiving is the constant characteristic of God’s people. To be thankful is what it means to be one of God’s people.

“But we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you for ever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise.”  (Ps. 79:13)

“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”  (Col. 3:15 ESV) Continue reading “Ikthus-Villa Angela Sermon (November 2013)”