A Place of New Beginnings
“Thankfulness, releases the heart of generosity”
“Compared with those who dwell on daily hassles, people who take time instead to record their reasons for giving thanks exercise more regularly, complain of fewer illness symptoms, and feel better about their lives overall. They also feel more loving, forgiving, joyful, enthusiastic, and optimistic about their futures, while their family and friends report that they seem happier and are more pleasant to be around. Gratitude is literally one of the few things that can measurably change people’s lives.” So concludes Robert Emmons in his book “Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier”.
Emmons, a psychology professor at the University of California, Davis, and Michael McCullough, a psychology professor at the University of Miami, are gathering a large body of novel scientific data on the nature of gratitude, its causes, and its potential consequences for human health and well being.
“Scientists are latecomers to the concept of gratitude,” Emmons says. “Religions and philosophies have long embraced gratitude as an indispensable manifestation of virtue, and an integral component of health, wholeness, and well-being.”
It is not surprising that science is once again concluding what the scriptures have declared for millennia. Gratitude is a powerful value.
The Psalms encourage us repeatedly to, “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good!” The bible recognizes the power of a grateful heart. When we are thankful we are focused on God and others and we are not focused on our selves, or our complaints.
All four of the Gospels record the story of a woman who came to the house where Jesus and the disciples were having dinner. After dinner she broke a bottle of very costly perfume over Jesus body and began to wash his feet and wipe them clean with her hair. The details vary from one record to the next, but the element of the gratitude in the heart of the woman comes through in each of the accounts.
While some at the dinner were disgusted that Jesus permitted this woman to waste such an extravagant perfume (equivalent to a years wages) by pouring it on his feet, Jesus is careful to point out the heart of thankfulness, which caused this woman to worship her Lord so generously.
The story reinforces our value statement for the month of March: “Thankfulness releases the heart of generosity”. You see you can be generous without being grateful. People do it all the time, giving because it makes them feel good or being generous out of sense of obligation. But you can’t be grateful and not be generous. Just ask Jesus.
There are no comments on this entry.
There are no trackbacks on this entry.