Our level of gratitude seldom stays the same. Some days we feel more grateful than others, even if the circumstances of our lives haven’t changed. That isn’t a major issue by itself, after all, feelings change. But the bigger issue is how our feelings affect our attitude and behavior. If I feel more grateful, then I’m much more likely to maintain a grateful attitude, and behave in a way that’s consistent with having a soul that is content and at peace. That also means that if I don’t feel grateful, then my attitude and actions are probably going to reveal that unrest.
Gratitude is certainly connected to our emotions, but it is also connected to something else; something that affects our emotions. It’s perspective. The perspective I have when I take a look at my lot in life and see my circumstances will immediately affect how I feel. If my perspective focuses more on what I don’t have rather than what I do have, then I will feel that life is unfair, or that I don’t have that much to be thankful for. If my perspective looks at my lot in life, and compares it to what I see (or assume) other people have, then my perspective may cause me to be envious. Or grateful, depending on who I’m drawing the comparison with. If I want to change how I feel about my life, my circumstances, and what I may or may not have going for me, then I have to change my perspective.
This Sunday at Liberty Hill this is what we will be focusing on; adjusting the heart and mind behind gratitude. If we can see ourselves differently, then perhaps we will also see others differently. And God, too. Thanksgiving is quickly approaching. Hopefully, we can find a perspective that keeps it from never leaving.
Pastor Joe Payne