Gratitude is not simply a choice. It is a position. Sure, we can jot a few things in our gratitude journals at the end of the day, because surely we can find at least a handful of things we appreciate from a full day. But do we need to settle for the scraps of gratitude? What if gratitude is intended to be more?
We can’t isolate gratitude, keeping it in a box of “things that are the best of the day,” things that rise to the top. It’s not just positive thinking. It’s not plucking out the “at least, I didn’t have to deal with….” Gratitude isn’t relative. Gratitude is authentic. If we want to be positioned to choose gratitude—even when we struggle to choose it—we need to be as spiritually healthy as we can. That effort primarily happens when things are going fairly well in our lives. That’s when we’re able to get some perspective and set priorities. We can see a little clearer.
Unfortunately, it’s also the time we tend to coast instead of being intentional about reflecting and preparing. Our spiritual health affects how we grow. And our growth impacts our perspective of gratitude. Gratitude is connected to so many other things. It’s why things get in the way of our gratitude—situations, emotions, attitudes, conversations, baggage, goals. That impact can be negative when we let it, but all those things can also positively influence our gratitude. We can begin to consider gratitude with the everyday experiences of life.
When we do so authentically, we begin to glimpse the goodness of God filtering our lives. It doesn’t mean we experience everything as good, but we trust God is working. We know he is providing. We know our understanding doesn’t determine his presence. Sometimes our gratitude isn’t simply for something but within something. Gratitude is within the context of faith. The posture of gratitude aligns with our posture of faith.
Let’s be intentional about our posture.