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Devotionals by Rick McDaniel


Thanksgiving is tomorrow and the focus is on the importance of gratitude. Being thankful needs to happen more than once a year. In fact research by Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky at the University of California, Riverside indicates there are powerful benefits to being grateful but only if you say thanks consistently. She says, “If you don’t do it regularly, you’re not going to get the benefits. It’s kind of like going to the gym once a year. What would be the good of that?”

It is important to have an attitude of gratitude because then you will be constantly aware of the blessings in your life. Too much time is spent complaining and not nearly enough time is spent being grateful. In I Thessalonians 5:18 we read, “Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do.” We can always find reasons to complain and criticize but it takes more effort to find reasons to be thankful. We are admonished to do it “whatever happens” which is a challenge but it is what God wants us to do. A lack of gratitude will result in your never being truly happy and when things don’t go well you will be angry and bitter.

There are two techniques that I have used to help me be more thankful. The first is what I call the “last time” approach. If you think that this may be the last time you ever (kissed your spouse, played with your kids, relaxed on a beach) it helps you to appreciate the simple blessings in your life. The other technique is at the end of each day write down all the positives in your day. Try doing this for two weeks and you will be amazed at how many good things really do happen in your life.

Gratitude should always begin with God and all the blessings He has brought into our lives. I think it is a good practice to begin each day with thanks to God. What God continues to do in us and through us should result in gratitude. A good exercise is to write down five examples of God’s blessings in your life. Take the time to identify the five greatest blessings in your life. This should result in a greater appreciation of God’s goodness to you.

Gratitude needs to be shown to the people in our lives. We need to make sure they know that we appreciate them. We can show gratitude in a variety of ways depending on the person. We can also express how thankful we are to the same person in different ways. The key is that we are consistent in our gratitude. A surge of appreciation followed by a lengthy period of inaction is not what you should aim for. Another good exercise is to list out the five people or groups of people that you are grateful for. The purpose of this is that you would intentionally reach out to these people and let them know how grateful you are to have them in your life. Don’t wait till Thanksgiving or only practice gratitude occasionally. Make gratitude an attitude.

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About High Impact Living

Pastor Rick McDaniel gives a relevant and Biblical perspective on various life topics ranging from relationships to business, from marriages to health. Rick is known for presenting messages that have practical points which can be applied in everyday life. His inspirational style has motivated thousands of people to live more impacting lives.

About Rick McDaniel

Rick McDaniel is a noted author, international communicator and church leader. He is the founder/senior pastor of Richmond Community Church in Richmond, Virginia. The church is known for its contemporary and innovative services and has a worldwide reach. McDaniel has earned three degrees including a masters degree from Boston College and an advanced degree from Duke University and is the author of​ seven​​ books including his latest "​You Got Style." He has traveled and spoken at conferences and churches worldwide spanning six continents. Through his writing and speaking he has become an evangelical voice to the culture on faith matters.

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