Gratitude and Identity

600+ grateful people. That’s my guess at attendance last night. And, for all 600+ of us, our hearts were even fuller. We had a packed-in-every-way, one-hour service with John Waller and Josh Stewart leading worship. Most years I’ve been a pastor we’ve had about 100 people come out, or maybe 125, or maybe 75. So, it was a surprise. It reminded me that…

  • Gratitude is a great source of energy.
  • Gratitude is like the sun; it warms up everything it touches.
  • Gratitude makes things come alive.
  • Gratitude cleans up the mess left by resentment.
  • Today the country rests, gets together, eats, remembers the past, and watches TV coverage of football and people standing outside watching balloons and marching bands go by… all because of gratitude.
  • Gratitude is a sign that something’s gone right.
  • Gratitude is the soul’s way of taking a deep breath.
  • Gratitude is a choice. 100% of us have 100% access to gratitude 100% of the time.
  • Gratitude is not something I get from someone else, but it has its own way of being contagious.
  • Gratitude changes the way I look at people.
  • Gratitude changes my identity. That’s how it works. I can’t be superficially grateful. I can’t be grateful merely on the level of my behavior; it has to go to the heart of my beliefs. It either goes all the way into how I see myself, or it doesn’t take. Look closely at these famous words from Philippians 4:4-7 (ESV)…

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I have to be grateful rather than anxious. Gratitude is not something I can do until grateful is something I am. The Lord is the only one who can change us this way on the inside. May you and yours overflow with the blessings of gratitude from and for Him today!

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