“Gratitude is a virtue most worthy of our cultivation. Indeed, in all the Christian life, gratitude is to be planted, watered, dressed, and harvested. Gratitude gets at the very essence of what it means to be created, finite, fallen, redeemed, and sustained by the God of all grace” (Desiring God website, March 25, 2013).
“Gratitude is contagious and so are the good feelings that follow,” says Mickey Haryanto, RN-BC, MBA, ONC, who works in the joint replacement unit at the Medical University of South Carolina. There, the monthly bestowing of the "The Golden Bone Award" to a unit care team member emphasizes gratitude.
"This is a small gesture, yet it’s highly coveted. Coworkers nominate the recipients as an act of gratitude for attributes such as exemplifying excellence in care of a difficult patient, solving a problem that makes work-life easier, helping a care team member through a particularly rough shift, or going above and beyond what‘s expected. Notes of thanks directed at all nominees are read aloud by the nurse manager. The winning care team member has his/her photograph with The Golden Bone trophy--a gold spray-painted pelvis or femur--featured in a prominent hallway. “There’s something special about this small token of appreciation and gratitude that makes us a winning team!" Mickey says (“Nursing and the Attitude of Gratitude: Keep the Spark Burning” in Orthopaedic Nursing, 37(6), 335-336).
Be mindful. "Scripture is infused with thanksgiving to God for all of his gifts to us, even in the midst of suffering. It is easy for us to focus our attention on what we do not have, to “complain in all circumstances” rather than give thanks. And yet God’s will for us is to give thanks. A prerequisite for giving thanks is seeing the gifts that are before us. Mindfulness is a tool for opening our eyes to what is in front of us” (The Mindful Christian).
Pray for a grateful heart. Ask to be more aware of your blessings. Pray God would open your eyes to the blessings that surround you. When we come to God and pray for His will to be done, we have confidence that he will give us what we ask (1 John 5:14-15) (Sunshine Gray, January 11, 2018).
“Thank you, Heavenly Father, for sovereignly ruling over all things all the time. Nothing is more certain than your commitment to complete your work in us, and finish making all things new. Though we question your timing, the Gospel reassures of our hearts.
Thank you for technicolor leaf-blasts, trout that bite, and non-posing friends. Thank you for Romans 8, a cornucopia of salads, and chocolate-pumpkin brownies.
Thank you that Alzheimer’s and COVID, mental illness and addiction, prodigal wandering and family disappointments don’t get the last word. Because the Gospel is true, we can vex less and repent quicker, fear less and trust more, sleep deeper and laugh louder.
Father, thank you for the near Day of wiped tears and redeemed sorrows, no more sin in our hearts, and your glory covering the earth. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ merciful and mighty name” (Scotty Smith, on The Gospel Coalition, November 2, 2021).
Spirituality of Gratitude
Gratitude: Giving Thanks in Life's Ups and Downs Bible study
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