Ditch the make-up and expensive cologne, ladies and gentlemen, because guess what? You don't need it! Have you ever met someone who was so joyful that they radiated with beauty? I have- my grandmother is one of them! She was born and raised in a third world country, and she suffered greatly trying to hide from the Japanese during World War II. Even today, she suffers as she becomes more dependent on others and grieves the loss of so many of her loved ones due to old age and sickness. Her beauty, however, has never faded. Why? Because despite everything she has gone through, her gratitude in every blessing she has (and I mean everything!) continues to shine through. Upon every visit, she thanks you for coming with a huge smile and loving hug. When she talks about painful moments in her life, she smiles with joy as she recounts how God delivered her through all those arduous times. Her life is a life of gratitude, and she could not look more beautiful!
2) You will grow in humility
Contrary to popular belief, humility is not defined as allowing people to trample all over you and denying your God given gifts. Humility is recognizing the greatness and perfection of God and the smallness and inferiority of humanity which includes you! Thankful Christians realize that "every good and perfect gift" (James 1:17) comes from God, and because of this Truth, they often feel compelled to respond to the generosity of God by giving their hearts back to Him.
There is a cute drawing I saw of a little stick figure giving its heart to God and saying, "This is all I have!" In the picture, God responds with, "That is all I want!" God desires our hearts. That is all He wants, and when we gratefully acknowledge His presence in our life and are aware that everything comes from Him including our very own lives, we grow in humility.
3) You will strengthen your relationship with others
A grateful heart is an open, forgiving, and compassionate one. People who live with an attitude of gratitude (yep, that was intentional!) are deeply aware of how flawed they truly are in comparison to God, the selfless Giver. As such, when they are in a relationship, whether romantic or platonic, they are less judgemental of the other person and forgive more readily. Unlike the evil servant who refused to forgive his debtor (Matthew 18:32), grateful Christians return the mercy they have received from God to those who have hurt or "trespassed against them." In addition, grateful Christians tend to seek out the good in each person they are with and affirm them for it. You'll often hear them say, "You are such a great friend! Thank you for taking the time to listen to me!" or "Wow, your voice is amazing. Thank you for sharing your beautiful gift at mass!" Thus, gratitude strengthens relationships, because it responds to God's presence found within each human soul with thanksgiving, admiration, and mercy.
4) You will become more attractive to others
Let's see, what do we have so far? Grateful Christians tend to be more beautiful, humble, and forgiving. Don't forget- they also love to point out how awesome you are! Who wouldn't want to be near someone like that?
5) You will attain a more positive outlook on life
This makes sense, doesn't it? An attitude of gratitude is an overwhelmingly positive one. When it's raining, grateful Christians (in California) say, "Awesome, this will help with the drought!" When it's pouring, they say, "Don't need to wash my car today, the rain will do it for me!" And when it's storming, they say, "It's a great time to tell ghost stories and spend a lazy day at home!" You get the point. No matter how bad things get, grateful Christians can find the good that can come out of the trying situation and thank God for it.
6) You will grow in holiness
An attitude of gratitude is one that never forgets that it is God who is the source of everything that one could ever be thankful for. Grateful Christians not only pray during desperate times but also, during joyous times. They include God in every part of their life, because they recognize that He is present in it all. He is the reason behind the times of great happiness, and He is the One that gets them through the times of great struggle. To grateful Christians, God is truly good, and they respond to His generosity by drawing closer to Him with deep love and thanksgiving.
So, have I convinced you? If so, you may be wondering, "How can I get this attitude of gratitude?!" I suggest starting a gratitude journal. Every day, take a few minutes to write down what you are grateful for. Whenever you are having a horrible day, look through it and ask God to help you find something good that happened that day even if it is as mundane as having clean water to drink. Did you know that in certain parts of the world, clean water is hard to come by? The more you train your brain (ha, I did it again!) to see the good in all situations, the easier it will become for you to develop an attitude of gratitude.
May we become more aware of God's goodness in our lives and return His generosity with our hearts which is all He ever wanted!