Gratitude and your Spiritual Health

Importance
of Gratitude in Spiritual Health

For a
seeker after truth, gratitude should be seen as discipline that should be
cultivated. The ability to live in the feeling of gratitude to God is an important
and intrinsic part of spiritual growth. Gratitude expressed only in words is
superficial gratitude. However, at the initial stage, it is important since it
enable us to inculcate in our self the habit of paying gratitude to God. Paying   gratitude comes when we can very clearly see
divine intervention in our lives and personal experience.

                As we have said earlier, the
gesture of gratitude brings the giver and receiver together in a loving
relationship.  The surest way of
achieving this relationship with God is by practicing gratitude in
spirituality. Gratitude in spirituality simply means expressing gratitude to
God for all the various things he does for us on daily basis. As we evolve
spiritually, we begin to see God’s presence in our lives. As we begin to
recognize his presence in our lives, his grace descends to fill us and we begin
to realize that everything happening in our lives is happening as according to
his own will. When we recognize our weakness and acknowledge our dependence on
God, God meets us at that point with even greater blessing and gift, his grace
pours into our lives, we then start responding with gratitude, praise, trust
and faith.  At that point our experience
with Christ and with God continue to deepen and widen. As Jay Sivits puts it
“life begins to change not because the circumstances around us are easier or
less demanding, but because we begin to see them in new light”. That is what
spiritual health is all about  self
knowledge and God realization.

                When we realize our true self
and allow God to be the doer of all things in our life, life becomes a sweet
sail irrespective of the circumstances around us. Our problems become his
problems and he takes cares of both our material and spiritual needs. In   response, we pay with gratitude in the form
of praise, worship and selfless service. By praise we mean singing of hymens
and psalms and any other of praise to God. By worship we mean prayers of thanks
giving to God especially prayer of silent or medication.  By selfless service we mean helping the needy
and the less privileged including regular payment of tithe to support the work
of the mission.  Above all, we would want
to live our life according to his dictates. As Guru Dariya Sahid pointed out,
the best way to show gratitude to   God
is to follow the commandments he has laid down and to live as far as possible
by the precepts he has given to us.

Cultivating
a Grateful Attitude:

                One
will be transformed physically and spiritually or other wise if one can
cultivate a simple act of gratitude on a regular basis. You can build up your
capacity by following these guidelines:

1)            Prioritize thanksgiving in your
prayer life:  don’t get your prayers
crowded with petitions. Always think of what you should thank God for, for
instance you can focus on all aspect of your salvation, taking note of all the
small blessings. In other words count your blessings and name them one by one
and express thanks to God for them. An Estonian proverb says “that he who does
not thank for a little will not thank for much”. Before you ask God for
anything, first thank him for one or more things you already have.    

2)            Ask God to sensitize you to internal
complains. Some of us grumble a lot so loudly that it disturbs our prayers.
When you realize this, quickly turn away from it and replace grumbling with
thanks in the related area. When you are faced with a major challenge, be
grateful for it. Difficult times are meant to teach us lessons. So instead of
grumbling we should give thanks to God.   

3)            Utilize spiritual songs; singing has
the power to lift up eyes and heart to God when nothing else can do. Be like
King David of the Bible who in spite of all adversities was able to write and
sing the psalms. John K Banga in his songs of gratitude say” whatever the depth
of woes along the path that I follow I  
will sing my song. My song of joy for all the love that is lavished on
us from above —”

4)            Thank people who bless you, in even
the smallest way.  It will complete your
enjoyment of the blessings and it will increase your capacity to thank God.

5)            Serve those less fortunate than you
are. This will remind you of how gracious God has been to you, how far he has
brought you, and how much he has blessed you. And this will in turn motivate
you to give gratitude to God.

6)            Make friends with grateful people
they will inspire you to become like them.

7)            When tragedy comes, be grateful the
lives you still have. Such tragedies can be crippling if you allow them to
overcome you.

8)            Instead of looking at what others
have, look at what you do have. As the master would say, be content with your
dry bread and water instead of looking at your neighbor’s buttered bread. If
you look around, you might see some people who do not even have that which you
have. So learn to be grateful for the life you do have.

Finally,
let us close with the words of Terry Grant: which says that we should learn to
open our presents at Christmas but to be grateful all the year round for the
gift received.  Thanks for reading, God
bless and happy New Year.

 

 

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