Developing a Heart of Gratitude

Did your parents teach you to say please and thank you? Are you teaching these courtesies to your kids today? Hopefully, the answer is yes. We train our kids to say these things as a picture of the kind of heart and character that we are trying to instill. Our goal is to create a heart of thanksgiving.

God’s Word tells us over and over again to rejoice, be thankful, and to live humbly. And in modern times, social science research has backed this up by showing how an attitude of thankfulness positively impacts our lives. (Just do an online search and you’ll find more articles than you want to read – but beware that many of them are not grounded in Christianity.)

Of course, we can’t simply think that by saying “thank you” that our hearts are actually thankful. But, we can take actions to deepen our heart of gratitude. Here are some ideas to increase your personal sense of gratitude and thanksgiving:

Take time each day to write down 5 things you are thankful for in your life.

Take it a step further by not allowing any repeats for a whole month.

Give a compliment to someone every day.

Take it a step further by verbalizing every compliment that pops into your head (within reason, of course).

Include specific thanksgivings in your prayer time with God.

Take it a step further by saying quick prayers of thanksgiving throughout the day when something or someone makes you smile.

Try something new, and reflect on what you enjoyed about the experience.

Take it a step further by inviting someone to share the experience with you and then talking about it together.

Ask God to deepen your heart of gratitude. 

Take it a step further by meditating on Scriptures and praying for God to humble your heart and open your eyes to the gifts He is giving you.

Written by Jessica Hayes
iHope Executive Director