The Habit of Gratitude
If counting our blessings helps us concentrate on God’s goodness, we can assume our entire outlook on life is subject to transformation. This doesn’t mean listing our blessings, or some other activity, will instantly alter our personalities. There are predispositions that make some of us more outwardly expressive than others. But our outward expressions are only one avenue of gratitude. In fact, it is possible to be silently grateful, and carry ourselves with such grace we speak thanksgiving without uttering a word. And of course, the things we don’t say reveal many things about the condition of our hearts.
Still, there is always room for improvement in our prayer life, and nothing will produce greater joy than habits focused on God’s blessings. Habits are patterns of behavior. We may or may not be aware of their presence in our lives, but we can pursue them intentionally.
Throughout my life I have witnesses the entire spectrum of habitual thanksgiving. I have prayed with elderly widows over a plate of cookies and some milk, but bowed privately at an expensive wedding reception because no one cared to thank God for His goodness. I have met those who can find good in anything as well as those who complain about nothing. While there may be some perfectly reasonable explanations for people’s attitudes in life, an explanation does not constitute an excuse. Therefore, we must all take responsibility for the way we choose to view our world, and develop good habits that nurture thanksgiving.