What Are the Benefits of Being Grateful?
When I had set out to write this article, I already had some idea of my limitations about this subject of being grateful. Gratitude has not come easily to me.
I have never really had a mind set that would help me to think this way. You see, I was an atheist until I was 30 years old so being grateful was an abstract thought for most of my life. If I worked hard and fulfilled my dreams my accomplishments had nothing to do with anything or anyone else but me.
Once I became a Christian that changed but I was still not in a good mindset of being grateful. Maybe I expressed gratitude when I prayed but not in my daily dealings with life, and certainly not when I was angry, in a bad mood or depressed.
A very good friend of mine opened this bag of worms (bag of gratefulness) in a phone call a month ago. He said he suffered from sadness or depression most of his life and was trying to kick that habit.
As we talked, I think God spoke to me and said, “How can you be sad or depressed when you are grateful?” I told my friend this and we talked at some length about the subject.
A few weeks later my friend Randy was leading the Men’s Hope Group at our church that I belong to and his subject for the night was “being grateful”.
He opened the discussion for everyone to participate in.
Listening to the different men explain their thoughts was eye opening but one thing that was repeated many times was that the other men were also having the same problem of being grateful as I was.
My cousin Ellen said to me when I told her I was writing a blog on this topic.
“We think of our struggles as punishments. Could it be that God is trying to help us grow beyond our finite perspectives? Gratitude during our trials helps build character from God’s perspective.”
“We Think of Our Struggles As Punishments
That response from her was very powerful and hit the nail on the head.
I then decided to contact family and friends and find out their thoughts on being grateful. I wondered if, perhaps, we all could learn from each other.
Below are many of the comments they wrote me when I asked them “What Are the Benefits of Being Grateful”
“Blessing & being content!!!!” — Rosie
“Gratitude makes you believe you have a responsibility to give back to the others. Entitlement makes you believe others have a responsibility to give back to you.”
“You could also argue all worship is a form of gratitude for what God has done or is doing. At the very least, gratitude is one of if not the primary vehicle of worship.” — Justin
“Gratefulness is a gift from God. It rewires the human brain for good, lifts the spirits, cheers the heart, cancels greed and entitlement mentality and brings a sense of peace and well-being to one’s soul. Gratitude acknowledges the goodness of God.” — Randy
“Being grateful to GOD should in turn make you more humble and then turn into obedience to His will in your life.” — Erik
“Gratitude is an open awareness of our finite abilities and God’s ultimate authority and sovereignty. It is the recognition of God’s renewed mercies every day. Gratitude is also having the ability to pause and give thanks for all of God’s creation both large and small, and our interactions within it. It is a form of surrender and appreciation of God’s influence and work in our lives. Gratitude means taking nothing for granted, or seeking from an entitlement perspective, as no living thing is worthy or deserving of God’s love and mercy, yet He gives it freely. Every day we have the opportunity to be grateful for each breathe of life we are given, and the fact that God sustains all things.” — Ellen
“The more grateful we are, the more people see Jesus shine in you. The more grateful we are, the joy of the Lord is in us. A grateful heart is a humble heart.” — Connie
“Gratefulness reflects appreciation. It reflects humility. It acknowledges the giver. It also reflects graciousness. Who doesn’t like the person who lives their life from a place of gratefulness?” — Lynwood
“Gratitude promotes a feeling of kindness and love for the giver and receiver. In other words, when someone gives you a gift or shows you kindness, you both walk away with a warm fuzzy feeling in your tummy.” — Tom
“Being Grateful, helps keep you humble and thankful for everything and everyone in your life!” — Shaun
“Becoming grateful – or looking around for things to appreciate & be thankful for – brings incredible amounts of joy & peace & fulfillment, where there used to be misery, cynicism, restlessness.” — Ariel
“When you are feeling truly grateful, it pushes all sinful attitudes out. There’s no room for feeling bitterness, covetousness, anger, jealousy etc. — It re-focuses our hearts on the gifts that God has blessed us with and helps us to truly love God and the people He has placed in our lives.” — Candace
“The main benefit of being grateful for me is to concentrate on something that is good in my life and not think so much of what is negative.” — Kathy
- Feelings of dissatisfaction with what you have.
- Lends to being a more forgiving person.
- Improves appreciation for the blessings frequently taken for granted
- Reduces stress and improves your health.
- Grateful people are more cheerful.
- Grateful people handled success better.
- Being more concerned for others than yourself is a byproduct of gratefulness
- Grateful persons are a joy to be around
- Being grateful supports other fruits of the Spirit
- Grateful people are less condemning of themselves and others
- Grateful people are not bitter people”
- — Steve
“Being grateful is one of the few times you get to understand the value of anything, if you are never grateful then you can never understand what it is you have or what someone else has done for you. It means your outlook on life will most likely be pitted against you instead of for you. Being grateful provides not only a happier moment but a much stronger and durable guide to happiness, don’t we all want to be happy? Then we should all also be grateful no matter how little we feel we have.” — Jacob
“Benefits of being grateful is that it helps you to be happy and content with what you have. If you are always looking at what somebody else has that is better than what you have, you will not be satisfied. It keeps you from allowing yourself to be happy.” — Jason
“I can’t see God clearly unless I am grateful. I am only truly grateful when I am humbled. I am only ever truly humbled when I recognize the depravity of my heart. I only see the depravity of my heart when I am transparent and in community. When I am transparent and in community, I see my need for God which brings me right back to being grateful!” — Paul
“Hope in the future is built on a foundation of recognizing our blessings and being grateful for them.” — Pam
“One benefit of being grateful is an attitude change. If you are grateful your attitude is positive, and it will affect those around you.” — Freya
“Early in our marriage we sat under a much-loved pastor who constantly admonished his flock, “Have an attitude of gratitude,” and he consistently modeled that in his own life and speech. Another good friend speaks of the difference between an “abundance mentality” and a “scarcity mentality.” When we recognize that God’s provision for us really is enough, we will respond with gratitude, and that gratitude begets generosity.” — Rhonda
“Everything I have is a gift from God, my life, my family, my next breath. In living with this knowledge, I have peace that God provides.” — Jim
“Some of the benefits of being grateful: a more positive attitude and outlook, and helps my relationships go better too.” — Jack
“When thinking of this I was overwhelmed at the benefit of having a grateful heart. The first thing that came to mind was the overwhelming feeling of peace. A peace that only God can give and is the One to whom having a grateful heart belongs… His constant love and care in my life is only a portion of the gratefulness because the benefits are for me, too numerous to count. Hope being one of them. Joy and a sense of well-being. Sensing His constant care and concern for my life always keeps me in a mindset of gratitude on a daily basis, which for me, is life sustaining. I am so GRATEFUL for the benefits of GRATITUDE as it is also from the very Heart of God.” — Monica
“Being grateful stings the devil and takes him out of the equation.” — Keith
What Are the Benefits of Being Grateful?
I personally thank each and every one of you that participated with this important question. I am Very Grateful (I knew I would get that in there at some point) that you took time out of your busy schedule to sit and reflect on this topic and then send me your answers.
I know many of the quotes are similar, but people did not have access to what others have said until now.
One last thought as I close.
I am personally grateful to the Christian God that created me and that He has the character qualities that He has, and that Jesus exhibited throughout His life. Loving, forgiving, humility, compassion, gentleness, self-control, patience, obedience, honesty and prayerful are just a few. 10 qualities of Jesus.
His amazing patience with me before I accepted Jesus into my heart and also the years afterward.
All my gratefulness radiates from Him.
If after reading this blog, if you would like to contribute to this discussion, please comment below so everyone can see what you have to say or maybe go to our Facebook page for a lively discussion once this blog is posted.
This is what Two Measures Foolish is all about—digging deeper into the things of God and our world that He made for us to live and grow in.
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What Are the Benefits of Being Grateful?
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This article is very encouraging especially in these times of uncertainty & loneliness. I hope it goes around the world!
Thank you for your comment Kim. I agree, it does help.
This is such a relevant topic in these chaotic times. Gratitude is the foundation in which my relationship with God is built. He is ever faithful, patient, and long suffering. When I look back at my sinful life, I see proof of God’s grace, love, and mercy, as well as His forgiveness and patience. That is the epitome of what it means to be in gratitude.
Great thoughts Ellen. Thank you.
I am grateful for lifelong friends.
I believe that giving thanks in all things stings the devil and takes him out of the equation. Sometimes this is difficult. Or should I say most of the time this is difficult…
I try to remember to ask God what he is trying to show me or teach me.
Being a Christian is difficult at times and can be downright devastating. God allows these times for our own good.
I’m starting to realize that what God is doing is about our salvation.
For those that live in the U.S.A., we live in the most blessed nation. A nation God smiles on. Many sacrificed so we could have our blessings today. We need to pray hard with expectation. In my opinion we need revival. We may suffer in the interim for becoming such a sinful nation. Thank God for these birthing pains.
I think if we look hard enough we can see God’s miracles in all things.
I enjoyed this! You could say that I was…grateful for having read it 😉
You could argue all worship is a form of gratitude for what God has done or is doing. At the very least, gratitude is one of if not the primary vehicle of worship.
Great point Justin! I might put that in the blog…but it is in there now because of this comment box. LOL
Great collection of peoples thoughts on gratitude.. it’s such an important mindset! Thanks for gathering and sharing.
Your welcome Candace. It was my pleasure. I enjoyed this blog the most and reading all the peoples comments as they came in.
This was very encouraging to read. It’s amazing how many benefits gratitude has.
Thank you Freya for your input!