The Message Bible concludes Colossians 3:15 with the words, “And cultivate thankfulness.” This apparently isn’t an option, yet being thankful doesn’t come naturally. We have to cultivate it—nurture and develop it.
Thankfulness takes work, but the rewards are well worth the effort! Studies have shown that being thankful improves our physical and emotional health. Holding on to feelings of thankfulness boosts our immune system and increases blood supply to our hearts. Cultivating thankfulness honors God and those we’re around.
Another upside of thankfulness is that it’s difficult—perhaps impossible—to be thankful and negative or complaining at the same time. When I find myself looking at what I don’t have, wish I had, or just feeling sorry for myself, I need to make a deliberate decision to focus instead on being thankful for what I do have. Taking time to list and thank God for the things I’m grateful for is a valuable and uplifting exercise.
I want to grow in thankfulness. And I’m working at thanking others more often for what they mean to me, how they encourage and inspire me. I’d love to hear what you do to cultivate thankfulness!
“Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is
one that the poorest of us can make and be not poorer
but richer for having made it.” ~ A. W. Tozer