The Theology of Gratitude

The Theology of Gratitude

The theology of gratitude? Is that a real theological principle, I questioned. So, when in doubt, Google it! I found a multitude of articles and posts talking about the theology of gratitude. Who knew?

Whether you believe in calling it theology or not, we all agree that gratitude is pretty cool. This week’s Journal is focused on building and sustaining a culture of gratitude.

On our pathway toward making disciples, it should be imperative that Christ’s followers are to be continually learning and living a life of gratitude.

To accomplish the above, we have to develop what I call a Culture of Gratitude. As your Stewardship Coach, my premise is that a theology of gratitude teaches others to be grateful AND increases giving. Here are my thoughts on how to develop a Culture of Gratitude.

First, become a model of gratitude yourself by living out a life of gratitude. If I ran an old-fashioned type of Geiger counter over you that tracked gratitude levels in the body, what would it show? Would it barely make a sound? Or would the static sound be clearly heard or perhaps be overwhelming? What is your gratitude level?

When you embrace a theology of gratitude, you can then begin developing a culture of gratitude. Your acts of gratitude become contagious which impacts all around you. One person at a time, we make the world more grateful. We start by being grateful ourselves and spreading that to others. Isn’t that what discipleship is?

To become a model of gratitude, you need to find your grateful place. Sometimes we can become so focused on what we think is wrong around us that we lose sight of God’s blessings. We can develop an attitude that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence that stymies a life of gratitude. We become less grateful and thus less gracious. This can happen without our ever realizing it. Who wants to be around a person that is not gracious?

How can we find our grateful place? For me, it starts every morning when I turn to the Word of God. I start in Psalms and read five Psalms a day. That sets the tone for my day.

Next, I will often listen to Christian music and sing to myself. Remember the old hymn, Count Your Blessings? The refrain ends with the line, “Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.” We increase our gratitude level by looking back at how God has provided. Singing has a way of lifting the heart.

One key way to find your gratitude place is a proper perspective. When I am in the dumps, I focus on something that, if all else fails, I can be grateful about. Mine is rejoicing that my son was only wounded in Iraq, not killed. Thinking of my son and his cute little daughter, born after he was wounded, makes me grateful no matter what I am experiencing.

We cannot teach what we don’t live out! So, work on your own gratitude level before establishing a culture of gratitude. To establish a Culture of Gratitude, you need to not only live a life of gratitudebut you also need to show gratitude. How is your gratitude level?

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