Every week, I receive a devotional from a Christ follower who is a clinical psychologist. He explores themes that are deeply spiritual and uniquely Christian. I wanted you to see this article by Dr. Gaultiere. At the end of the piece, there is an invitation to join his email list. I wish “Thanksgiving” was much more than just one day each year. How could we make it a way of life?
—Rev. Jeff Gannon
Amazing Benefits of Giving Thanks
by Bill Gaultiere | Soul Shepherding Devotional Archive
In recent years scientific research has validated the ancient wisdom of the Bible: “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.
Today there is a whole school of psychology called “Positive Psychology.” It focuses on understanding thankfulness, conducting gratitude research, and utilizing therapeutic interventions aimed at increasing gratitude. Many research studies have been done to test the effects of a thankful attitude.
The results show the tremendous benefits of being a grateful person.
Now we have all the more reason to learn to become the kind of person who is prepared to, “Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:19-20).
Thankfulness has the strongest link to mental health and physical well-being of any of the thirty most commonly studied personality traits. Compared to other people grateful people are:
- Happier. It seems that the positive emotions associated with gratitude undo the painful and debilitating effects of negative emotions.
- Less Stressed. They have lower levels of cortisol and better coping mechanisms to deal with personal difficulties.
- More Social. Being grateful is associated with increased social connections and leads to greater satisfaction in your relationships.
- More Purposeful. They are focused on their priorities and are more mature in their personal growth.
- Sleep Better. Grateful people think positive things before going to sleep and it greatly improves their sleep.
- Fewer Health Complaints. Experience fewer symptoms of physical illness and have increased resistance to viral infections.
- More Altruistic. Being happier and less stressed helps us to be more effective in loving God and our neighbor.
“Every good and perfect gift comes from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights” (James 1:17).
If it weren’t for God, our Creator, and his generosity we wouldn’t have anything to be thankful for. (Of course, we wouldn’t even exist!) All of the good things we experience are blessings from God so in our expressions of gratitude we ought to focus especially on thanking God.
At Thanksgiving time when we are especially mindful of offering thanks we may not go beyond giving thanks for our tangible, visible blessings like our food, health, material provisions, and loved ones.
As students of Jesus Christ we ought to think careful about “Turkey and Prayer” and use this wonderful holiday wisely!
The one thing we can be thankful for anytime — in good times and bad times — is the presence of the risen Christ in our lives and the joy of being part of the Kingdom of the Heavens with him.
We joy in Jesus! We joy in honoring him! We joy in serving him!
We see beyond physical reality and look with eyes of faith into spiritual reality where “in the heavenly realms” we have “every spiritual blessing in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).
This Thanksgiving share with your family and friends these Thanksgiving Bible verses around your holiday table.
It’s almost time for Advent. Here is our new resource to help you appreciate anew the coming of Christ! Devotionals and Prayer Cards for Advent.
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