April 28, 2017

Choosing Gratitude: Introduction

Choosing Gratitude StudyWelcome to the first week of our Choosing Gratitude study! I’m excited to dive into this book with you all. I can’t wait to see how the Holy Spirit nudges each of us to become more joyful, grateful Christians!

So how is this going to work?

First of all, if you haven’t yet grabbed a copy of Choosing Gratitude, this would be a great time to go find it on Amazon (or at a friend’s house). If you absolutely can’t afford it — or can’t find a copy to borrow it — feel free to join in anyway. I’ll try to present the principles from each chapter in a way that everyone can follow along, with or without a book.

Each week, on Thursday or Friday, we’ll look at a single chapter from the book. For each post, I’ll share three things:

  • observations from the chapter, including a favorite quote or two;
  • a summary of the author’s main points; and
  • reflection questions to get us talking about possible applications.

It would be great if you’ve already read the chapter for that week — so you can join in the conversation whole-heartedly. I invite YOU to share any questions you might have, favorite quotes or observations about the reading, personal applications that you’ve made, and anything else that God might prompt you to say. Don’t be afraid to speak up… if you’ve thought of something, chances are somebody else has too.

And now, let’s get started…

**********************************************

Introduction: An Invitation to Transformation

In the introduction to Choosing GratitudeNancy DeMoss invites us, the readers, on a journey to transformation. She calls gratitude a vital, transformational life preserver amidst the turbulent waters of runaway emotions. Why is it vital? Because it keeps us afloat in the sea of life.

“If I am not ceaselessly vigilant about rejecting ingratitude and choosing gratitude,
I all-too-easily get sucked into the undertow of life in a fallen world.”

That undertow leads to ingratitude. And ingratitude leads to weariness. We start to complain, start growing resentful, and begin to dwell in negativity and doubt. The undertow of ingratitude constantly pushes us towards discouragement and anxiety. {<–tweet that}

Gratitude, however, strengthens us in every sense: spiritually, emotionally, mentally, relationally, and even physically. It fosters joy, stability, and peacefulness. But it doesn’t come naturally — gratitude takes effort and intentionality.

“Choosing gratitude… requires constantly renewing my mind with the truth of God’s Word,
setting my heart to savor God and His gifts, and discipling my tongue
to speak words that reflect His goodness and grace–
until a grateful spirit becomes my reflexive response to all of life.”

And that is why we’re studying this book. So we can train ourselves to respond with gratefulness in every situation, no matter what. And so we can reap the benefits of true peace and joy, which come only through a truly thankful heart.

Now for the community part…

Share a favorite insight or quote from the introduction. Ask any questions you have about the reading. Or answer one of these discussion questions:

  • Do you consider yourself a grateful person? Why or why not?
  • How would you define a “grateful” person?

************************************************************

Follow along with the rest of the study:

Chapter 1 — The Power of Gratitude
Chapter 2 — Guilt, Grace, and Gratitude
Chapter 3 — No Thanks
Chapter 4 — Why Choose Gratitude?
Chapter 5 — Of Whiners and Worshipers
Chapter 6 — How Can I Say Thanks?
Chapter 7 — Thanks for Everything!
Chapter 8 — But Not Without Sacrifice
Chapter 9 — Going Gratitudinal

 


Comments

  1. A couple of quotes from the introduction that particularly hit home for me were, “I have seen how a lack of gratitude manifests itself in fretting, complaining, and resenting – whether within the confines of my own thoughts or, worse yet, through venting those thoughts to others,” and “Cultivating a thankful heart is a safeguard against becoming bitter, prickly, and sour.” I see clearly that I do not have as thankful a heart as I should have and I see those “bitter, prickly, and sour” fruits all too often in my heart and my thoughts. I desire to have a truly thankful, grateful heart and attitude toward God, no matter what situation or circumstance I am in. I try to be quick to thank anyone whenever they do something to help me, and I want that to be my true heart response to God at all times, whether I am being helped by Him or I am going through a trial or I am enduring suffering.

  2. Another Sandy reporting in! : )
    I would usually consider myself a grateful person — but I liked what she said at the top of p. 18. “If you find discouragement, depression, fear, or anxiety among your frequent companions, you may tend to attribute them to difficult or painful circumstances….But I want to suggest that as challenging as your situation or your season of life may be, your frame of mind likely has less to do with your distressing circumstances than with your need to develop a thankful heart.” I definitely struggle with those things, and I confess I’ve kind of been indulging myself in just having a blah, blue week. This reminds me that I can definitely change my mindset to focus on all I have to be grateful for and on how good and trustworthy God is…. I will see to apply this even right now!!

    • Hi Sandy! It’s eye-opening to consider all the ways ingratitude manifests itself! But recognizing those negative things is the first step in being transformed into a more grateful Christian.

  3. This looks like a book I want to get. I have too many books that I am reading 😉 as always. You have a beautiful blog and it was nice to stop over. I can’t remember if I have been here before but I know that I saw your blog title and it peeked my interest. Have a wonderful week.

  4. This sounds like a really great book. I do consider myself to be grateful. Mostly because my husband tells me he’s never met anyone that says thank you for everything he does for me. Even when I don’t feel good. I was brought up that way. But there was a time even when I did that, I see where complaining would mess up my gracious attitude and get into my heart. It messed things up for a bit. Wonderful insights. Stopping by from Thankful Thursdays.

    • Thanks so much for stopping by, Kim! It really is a fantastic book – and chapter 1 talks about the difference between saying thank you and being truly grateful. You should think about reading it! 🙂

  5. I love this book! I think I need to look at it more often, since it’s such a fight to be joyful (why is that?!?). This looks like a great series!

  6. I lost your blog and couldn’t remember where I had found it. I’m so glad to have found you since I bought the book (right after originally reading this post) and wanted to read along. My Nook has had issues or I would have been reading the book already.

Trackbacks

  1. […] we’re studying through Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. See last week’s Introduction for more […]

  2. […] this is all about, we’re studying through Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. See the Introduction for more […]

  3. […] this is all about, we’re studying through Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. See the Introduction for more […]

  4. […] this is all about, we’re studying through Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. See the Introduction for more […]

  5. […] this is all about, we’re studying through Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. See the Introduction for more […]

  6. […] this is all about, we’re studying through Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. See the Introduction for more […]

  7. […] this is all about, we’re studying through Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. See the Introduction for more […]

  8. […] this is all about, we’re studying through Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. See the Introduction for more […]

  9. […] this is all about, we’re studying through Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. See the Introduction for more […]

  10. […] Study: Choosing Gratitude […]