I love November. This month of gratitude is my favorite of the year. In fact, gratitude is my word of the year for 2021. After all my family went through in 2020, I’ve had a lot to be thankful for in 2021.
I started my year of gratitude with a gift from a good friend, a beautiful Christmas ornament accompanying a card that read “Gratitude enables our hearts to tell a better story.”
Gratitude enables our hearts to tell a better story.
That is so true. Gratitude changes our perspective. Growing up, I was made to sit down and write out thank you cards for gifts that I received from friends or family members. In return, I myself appreciate knowing when a gift was received.
What about you? How do you thank someone when you receive a gift?
There are many ways you can let someone know what they do, what they give, or what they say to you, made a difference for you. and letting them know is a gift in and of itself.
Gratitude has always been a huge part of the Lord’s teachings. There are plenty of stories in the Bible about gratitude, but one of my favorites is the story of the ten lepers found in Luke 17:11-19.
“While traveling to Jerusalem, he passed between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten men with leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and raised their voices, saying, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’
When he saw them, he told them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And while they were going, they were cleansed.
But one of them, seeing that he was healed, returned and, with a loud voice, gave glory to God. He fell facedown at his feet, thanking him. And he was a Samaritan.
Then Jesus said, ‘Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Didn’t any return to give glory to God except this foreigner?’ And he told him, ‘Get up and go on your way. Your faith has saved you.’”
There are several different aspects to study in this story, but I am going to stick to the fact that out of 10 people whose lives were just changed, only one came back to say thank you.
I read this in a concordance called The Gospel of Luke:
“Ingratitude—even among Christians—often is pronounced. Helped the most, they often seem to take it for granted. They are thankful neither to God nor to you for being used as an instrument in His hands to counsel (or help) them. Don’t expect gratitude.
When it happens spontaneously–it will doubtless happen in the lesser number of instances (here the ratio was 1 to 10). And often, it will come from the one from whom it is least expected.” Adams, J. E.
I have found that to be so true in my own life. I’m sorry to admit that I’ve often stopped doing things because I wasn’t acknowledged. I’ve also continued on my merry way without stopping to say thank you.
I can stay so busy during the day and week, and then those weeks turn into months. I can forget to stop and thank the people who make a difference in my life.
I want to stop today and say thank you to you, the listeners. Thank you for taking the time to give me the gift of your kind words.
I have my share of hard days, and whenever a comment, an email, a message, or a review comes through, I’m reminded of God’s love working through my listeners.
This is how God works. He needs you to be His hands to type the words or make the phone call. Or, like my new neighbor, to tell me that she and her sister just started listening to the podcast and that it is reaching her! To stop and say thank you.
Hearing your words means so much to me.
- Melody, a friend and listener back in Washington. Thank you for the gift of your words! You have always made me smile and you are an amazing pillar in the community as a single mom who has sacrificed so much. I want to stop and thank you for sending me the message that you are enjoying my podcast; but also to acknowledge that my move must have been hard. Thank you for encouraging me that I am helping others by advancing His purpose!
- Vikki, you are a big support to me – more than you realize. Thank you! You are a wonderful mentor. I appreciate the time you take to talk with me as I process and grow in my ministry. You are often who I think of when I write.
- Amy from Texas sent me the gift of these sweet words: “What a beautiful, encouraging podcast. Cheri and her guests guide us along as we discover and fulfill our God-created purpose. Wonderful for any woman going through a transition in life.”
Here is another gift from listener Macsz: “Thank you for your openness and humility. I love your show. I am drawn to your topic of finding your purpose in every season. Thank you tons!”
Thank you all so much for the gift of your gratitude.
When God places a nudge in your heart to tell someone that what they are doing affects your life please take the time to stop and say thank you.
- Darla, who takes the time to write a prayer for me and my ministry every week! To know that I am covered like that means more than I can thank you for.
- My mom, your comments on what I write do not go unnoticed. You have always been my biggest cheerleader! Thank you for your consistent encouragement.
A study at Harvard found that giving thanks can actually make you happier. Well – we already knew that, because the Bible tells us that a cheerful heart is good medicine!
Thankfulness is a prominent theme in the Bible.
First Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Give thanks in all circumstances. Thankfulness should be a way of life for us, naturally flowing from our hearts and mouths.
It takes the extension of grace and the acknowledgment of goodness to give thanks in all circumstances.
This can be difficult for us sometimes. There are certainly days when I am anything but thankful for what is going on around me or in my life. But I have to remember to rely on a source of joy outside of myself and to give thanks to a God who knows my needs.
God knows when I need an encouraging word, and He will always give someone a nudge to let me know He hears me.
He has continually done so through you: your kind comments, your encouraging emails, and your warm messages. Whether I read them today or not, I keep all of your comments and messages in a folder on my laptop that I can revisit whenever I need a reminder.
Thank you so much.
As we begin the holiday season, continue to give the gift of gratitude.
Be the person who stops to let someone know that what they did, what they said, or simply who they are to you has made a difference.
I know that your gratitude will enable the hearts of everyone involved to tell a better story.