Thankful for a Healthy Attitude
Always use the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to thank God the Father for everything. – Ephesians 5:20 (CEV)
A thankful heart is healthy. Starting in the 1960s, researchers at the famed Mayo Clinic conducted an extended study of more than 7,000 people. Those who had a tendency to be pessimistic had a higher rate of death (regardless of cause) than those who were optimistic. In a separate study of 700 patients, pessimists had a 19 percent higher risk of mortality. In another long-term study of 500 men and women, after a decade 54.3 percent of participants with a positive life orientation were still alive, compared to 39.5 percent of those with a less-than-positive outlook.
Longtime newscaster Deborah Norville found over three decades as a TV reporter that certain people were able to move on with smiles and optimism, even during great difficulties. She attributed that to a leading quality: gratefulness. She even wrote a book about it: Thank You Power. Her prescription: write down three things every day that you’re thankful for; it will help your career, marriage, family life, and well-being. She backs up her claim with scientific research.
Throughout the Bible are passages like Ephesians 5:18-20. They consistently say to praise Me and be thankful, grateful and cheerful. The alternative is to be grumbling, complaining and always looking for the worst. That is a miserable way to live. Give Me thanks and you’re more likely to be around a few years from now.
Catalyst for Spiritual Growth
- What do you think about the advice in this Psalm? Now would your life change if you followed it?
- Have you ever tried writing down three things you’re grateful for? How could that change your attitude?