The Gracious Gift of Gratitude: Shaping the World Together

Gracious Gifts in the New Year

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Is your New Year off to a gracious start? Is your attitude of life filled with positivity and full of grace, love, and humility? That may certainly seem a tall order of goals for a New Year, but have you ever considered that this achievable goal sits before each one of us every day? It all begins with the very gracious gift of gratitude. When we embrace gratitude fully our attitude towards life changes for the positive and in turn reflects a life of graciousness, love, and humility. By allowing the gracious gift of gratitude to shape our lives, we think differently and see the world in a different light. It is in this way we can shape the world for a light-filled life.

How we approach our life and the people within each day affects our attitude towards not only others but our life overall. Gratitude journals are quite popular and help us visually see and reflect concretely what things we should be grateful for. I don’t keep a traditional gratitude journal but instead every morning I write down one thing that I am grateful for upon waking. What this practice has done is to open the floodgates to all that I have to be grateful for. When I reflect upon my one thing each day, I realize tons of other things that I am grateful for. So, my one thing resounds all day with the many things in which I am grateful.

Gracious Greetings Make a Difference

When we begin life with the gracious gift of gratitude, we experience a different way of living. This week we look to the greeting of Paul to the Corinthians as he addresses his audience with enthusiasm. He reminds them of what they should be grateful for because they share together as part of the body of Christ. Even if we feel we have absolutely nothing to be grateful for, the gracious gift of salvation offered to us should quickly change our attitude.

When we approach life together with what we hold in the abundance of the body of Christ, we begin to build unity with one another. As we remember not only what we have to be thankful for but can give thanks for other’s life in Christ as well, our life reflects as one of being a follower of Christ. For it is here that we see how our spiritual gifts work together for service to God. However, to see unity and productivity as one body, we first must-see gracious gratitude.

I always thank my God for you and for the gracious gifts He has given you, now that you belong to Christ Jesus.

1 Corinthians 1:4 (NLT)

Seeing and experiencing gratitude in our own lives and extending it to the lives of others is the start of something great. For it is said that getting together is a beginning; keeping together is progress and working together is success. If we want to see success in not only our own life but the world, we must learn the productivity of unity.

Unity Equals Productivity

The story of the farmer illustrates the effect that unity holds with productivity. A farmer noticed a highway department truck with 2 men pulling over onto the shoulder of the road. One of the men would get out, dig a hole, and then get back into the truck. Then the other man would get out, fill the hole in, and get back in the truck. Every fifty yards this interesting process was repeated. Finally, the farmer asked, “What are you doing?” The driver replied, “We’re on a highway beautification project, and the guy who plants the trees is home sick today.” The bottom line is that without full unity there is no productivity. God blesses us when we work together in unity for it is when we work together real productivity is witnessed.

Living gratefully for the gracious gift of life we live through the transformation of Christ is a blessing. However, it is through this gratitude that our life is shaped not only individually but collectively as we live together in the body of Christ. It is here that we clearly see how God enriches us as a group as we work together in unity for Him with productivity abounding. When we stand together in the gracious light of God as one group, we show the world our gratitude. For together we are better, and it is this that reshapes the world.

Shaping the World through Gracious Gratitude

Won’t you take the challenge to allow the gracious gratitude in and of Christ to shape the way you live and react to the world? Seal your conviction to use your spiritual gifts together in unity as part of the body of Christ helping others see the light of His love. Find your motivation in realizing what you hold over what you lack. Lastly, surround yourself in the comfort of knowing that it is by the gracious gift of gratitude that you not only hold what you need but that together with graciousness, the world is better.

Love in Christ,

E.J.

Postscript

And you know, when you’ve experienced grace and you feel like you’ve been forgiven, you’re a lot more forgiving of other people. You’re a lot more gracious to others.

Rick Warren

Extra Study

1 Corinthians 1:1-9

What are Your Thoughts?

Do you consider daily the gracious gifts you hold through Christ? Have you experienced the evidence of how when believers work together in unity the world is a better place? Share your thoughts on the gracious gifts you hold in Christ.

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