“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Over the last several years I have noticed my spirit become more and more critical. Growing up, I would have considered myself a pretty positive person. But in this season of one difficult thing on top of another, I have found my heart becoming more cynical, robbing me of the opportunity to see goodness in the world.
Instead of assuming the best in someone, I pick up on what could be bad intentions.
Instead of focusing on the good in a situation, I grab hold of the disappointment.
I’ve slowly become disillusioned in the once joyful-to-me world. I’ve started to build resentments, hold onto bitterness, and save spots in my heart for the record of wrongs God implores us not to remember.
As I’ve recognized this in myself, I’ve held space for grace and compassion. I’ve been in therapy off and on for the last six years (yes, six). I understand that thirty years of harbored trauma will do a lot to a person, as will death, sickness, and childhood sexual abuse. But unfortunately in being compassionate toward my past self, I fear I’ve let things slide for too long and now I don’t like where I am headed.
As I started prepping for 2024, I kept thinking that my biggest desire was to STOP COMPLAINING. To assume the best instead of the worst, which is really hard when there is so much negativity surrounding us. But I felt strongly that my year’s intention shouldn’t be to STOP doing something but instead START doing the opposite. So, with a heart full of hope and goodness, I’ve decided that my intention for the year is to cultivate a life of gratitude.
I will actively look for reasons to be grateful… in all circumstances. And girl, let me tell you that when we look for them, they are there. They’ve been there all along. I know this will be a practice that isn’t natural to me at first. But hopefully, over time, this will become my response instead of criticism.
Do you struggle with a critical spirit as well? Let’s join together to cultivate an attitude of gratitude this year, regardless of our circumstances.
What resentments are you holding onto?
Start a list of gratitude, whether it’s on your phone or a piece of paper. Keep it running whenever anything comes to mind.
Ask God to point out reasons to be thankful today and lift them to Him as they come to you throughout the day.
****To Purchase the Corresponding Artwork, Click Here.