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One jar of gratefulness, thanks

Daisies in a jar
Posted May 30, 2017

Did you know Harvard Medical School found that grateful people are less dissatisfied, less judgemental and less depressed? That seems like a pretty good motivator to start practicing gratefulness, wouldn't you agree?

A friend of mine certainly thought so, and at the beginning of the year told me she was going to start a ‘Gratefulness Jar’.

Each day, she would think about something she was grateful for, write it down and put it in the jar. At the end of the year, the jar would be overflowing and she coould look back and remember all the gracious blessing that God had given her over 2017!

I was inspired by this idea and shared it with one of my granddaughters in Perth. Within a short time, she messaged me a photo of HER jar – with three completed notes in it already!

Count your blessings

'Count your blessings, name them one by one... and it will surprise us what the Lord has done.'

My thankfulness has been recorded in a slightly different way. I write things that I am grateful to God for inside a spare diary... nothing but words of thanks to God.

Some days, the Lord prompts me and the list fills the whole page! As a Christian, all kinds of Biblical scriptures come to mind - a kindness of a friend, good health, safety, a blessing I didn't deserve... yes, our God is so good! It is such a joy to write in this book, and I can't wait to sit down at the end of the year and reflect back on all the things I am grateful for. (Or have a peek over the year whenever I need encouraging about what God is doing and continues to do!)

How about you? Do you think you feel grateful for what you have?... Like me, I’m sure you are grateful - it’s just sometimes we can struggle to find the time to stop and actually think about it.

Here are some things I am grateful for (I'm sure you could add many more too!):

  • all the wonderful scriptures that assure me of eternal life through faith in Jesus
  • the promises of God's faithfulness
  • God's care
  • God's never ending love
  • the peace Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit gives that the world can't give
  • all the good things in store for those who love him

We have an awesome God, let us give him PRAISE all through the day, every day! Yes, being grateful is one way of praising God!

To be or not to be (grateful)?

A person once said to me ‘I can’t stand the way you are always so positive… it really annoys me.’ Have you had someone say that to you lately? Or have you thought this about someone else?

When Christians are ungrateful, it has wide-ranging knock-on effects. We will likely no longer enjoy praying or worship; we might find it a drudge to praise God and a great struggle or burden to keep reading our Bibles... ungratefulness can even cloud us from sharing our Christian faith and love of Jesus. Eventually we will even grow to resent the very joy others carry.

In other words, an ungrateful heart stops us from being an effective witness of who Jesus is, and the ‘fullness of life’ he promises! This is unbearably sad.

Jesus never promises it will be easy, but he promises that he will be with us 'even to the end of the age' - Matthew 8:20 

As followers of Christ - this is something we must surely each be thankful for.

Practice makes... grateful

So let us practice gratefulness. An easy way could be to begin your own Gratefulness Jar:

  • Find a jar - one in your cupboard, an op-shop, these jars from The Warehouse or even a six-pack from Kmart
  • Have some pieces of paper and a pen in a specific place next to your jar
  • Set a time each day - or if you like spontaneity just do it throughout the day!
  • Fill the jar daily with things you are grateful for, thankful for or consider blessing
  • Watch your jar fill up!
  • Take some out and read them when you need encouragement throughout the year
  • Have a day at the end of the year we you take them out and read them one by one and thank God for the great things he has given you!

You could also write in an old notepad or diary all the things each day you are thankful for... we all have a pad or twenty lying around the house! Start a trend! Get your family involved and don't be shy to tell your friends about it when they come round and ask what it is!

As you practice gratefulness, before too long it will start to change your life and affect your wellbeing. You will bring deep spiritual blessing to others. You will see things you may have taken for granted with fresh eyes and your relationship with Jesus will spring up into new life. You will begin to find yourself wanting to share those precious things you have with others!

It is never too late to start practicing gratefulness.

Colossians 2:7 says this: ‘Let your lives overflow with joy and thanksgiving for all he has done.’ Don't you just want to do this daily? What different people we will look like as time goes by! Maybe someone else will want that joy too (wow – think of how good would that be?!)!

And in that moment, you can tell them about the hope you have, unending, in every circumstance - in Jesus Christ.

In closing, dear friends, I pray you each have a great week and let me leave you with this scripture: ‘May the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in your sight oh, Lord.’ - Psalm 19:14

That is my sincerest prayer over you.




Betty Thompson

WM Writer