March 22, 2017

Choosing Gratitude: Chapter 6

Welcome to the Choosing Gratitude study! If you’re not sure what this is all about, we’re studying through Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. See the Introduction for more details.

How Can I Say Thanks?

We’re finally getting to the heart of having a gratitude attitude — how can we make it happen? Here are some practical steps we can take to make it an actual lifestyle.

1. Speak Up

Tell people when you’re thankful for them, or for something they’ve done! If you don’t voice it, they don’t know. For example, thank your pastor when he preaches an exceptionally encouraging or convicting message — he won’t know it was effective, if you don’t say anything. Or thank that neighbor who always keeps an eye out for your pets, or that friend who always asks (sincerely) how you’re doing, or that coworker who always brightens your day with a smile.

“Gratitude is not the quiet game.” {tweet that!}

Offering verbal thanks is a way of blessing others. It’s a way to encourage, uplift, and edify those around you. It’s a way to get your focus off yourself and on to being a blessing.

2. Sing Out

The Psalms are replete with reminders to sing to the Lord with thanksgiving or sing praise to the Lord. And Paul tells us to address one another in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord.

It doesn’t matter if you can’t carry a tune. It doesn’t matter whether you have musical training or not. Sing to God in the privacy of your home, or your car, or even your shower! It’s between you and Him… and it will greatly benefit your personal communication with Him!

Don’t know what to sing? Grab a hymnbook and work your way through it, as part of your daily time with God. Or sing the praise Psalms to your own tunes. Be creative!

3. Kneel Down

What are your prayers filled with? Complaints, requests, and needs… or thanksgiving? When God’s Word commands us to pray without ceasing, it includes the command to give thanks. When it tells us to make our requests known to God, it specifies that those requests should be made with thanksgiving.

Giving thanks is a crucial part of prayer! Just as you should verbalize your gratitude to those around you, so you should verbalize your gratitude to God Himself. And not just a rote “thanks for the food,” but a passionate offering of gratitude that comes from the heart. Not just a vague “thanks for a nice day,” but a specific offering of gratitude that mentions the many particular blessings God has bestowed on you that day.

4. Privately and Publicly

Offer thanks in the privacy of your own prayer closet… but also offer thanks in your church’s praise service or testimony time. Let others hear you praising God for His character. Let others hear you give testimony about what He has been doing in your life. Public thanksgiving is a necessary part of corporate worship, just as private thanksgiving is a necessary part of personal worship.

“Gratitude is not just for private consumption but for public conversation.” {tweet that!}

Another thing to consider: are you more ready to share your concerns with others, than you are to share expressions of gratitude? Why are we so unbalanced in that? We ask for prayer for everything, from little things to big things, and rightly so. But rarely do we offer praise for as many things! Sure, we offer praise when something big (and good) happens, but what about in the mundane everyday life? Isn’t God still good? Shouldn’t we still be praising Him in the ordinary things?

5. When and Where

When it comes to Sundays, holidays, and special occasion days, we automatically start thinking about praising God. But what about rest of the time?

Praise Him in the ordinary everydays, not just the special days. Praise Him when you get up in the morning, and when you lie down in the evening, as David instructed the Levites. Praise Him throughout the day, and when you wake up in the middle of the night. Praise Him continually!

I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

Psalm 34:1

 

Choosing Gratitude Study

 

Now it’s YOUR turn!

  • What did you love in chapter 6? What didn’t you love?
  • What’s your favorite way to offer thanks to God – speaking, singing, praying, or something else?
  • Who can you write an old-fashioned thank you note to this week?

Tweet about it! Or send your own tweets using #ChoosingGratitude to share what you’re learning, and invite your friends to join our study! As always, feel free to share your own blog posts about the book in the comment section here! Please include the graphic in your post, with a link back to this blog.

Want to share a guest post about it? Send me an email. I’d love to hear from you! 🙂


Comments

  1. I liked reading about the different ways to express gratitude and reading that we should express that gratitude continually and from a heart that is truly grateful. If we stop for even just a few minutes and think about the blessings we’ve been given and the Giver of those blessings, even blessings such as pain or a time of suffering, we’ll probably see that we will run out of time to express our gratitude to God before we run out of things we are grateful for. I am more grateful to God for the “ordinary” things now than I have ever been. He has made me satisfied with my every day life and grateful to Him to have it; even caring for the pets is something that I am grateful for and thankful to be able to do it. I really liked Nancy’s quote, “Occasions for gratitude are all around us.” They really are!