Monday, July 16, 2007

A New Kind of Gratitude

I learned something fascinating about gratitude this weekend. It’s something I might already have heard, thought of as valuable, and then forgotten. Certainly, anyone who works with the fundamentals of metaphysics is familiar with the idea of having an

Attitude of Gratitude

Crystal Cathedral founder Robert Schuller was famous for preaching about having an attitude of gratitude, and how gratitude greases the wheels of creation in our favor. He’s right. Look at this though—they’re the words of St. Paul’s first epistle to the Thessalonians (5:18):

In every thing give thanks . . . .

If your mother was anything like mine, one of the things you learned as a child was the mannerly art of writing thank you notes. The rule in our house was that we couldn't have whatever gift that grandmother had sent until we had written our thank you note. Think of a younger you. How might you have started that little missive?

Dear Grandma,

Thank you so much for . . . .

Do you see the difference between Paul and the note? I’ll give you a hint—it’s all in the prepositions. Eric Butterworth taught me this in his book, Spiritual Economics.

Giving thanks for certain people, places, things, events has an implicit judgment in it. Actually, two judgments. First, it assumes that gratitude is a reaction to things outside of us. Second, when we are grateful for certain things, it implies that there are also things for which we are not grateful.

Giving thanks in every person, place, thing, event uses the tool of gratitude properly. Genuine gratitude is a state of being and does not require outer stimuli. This is what makes gratitude open the windows of heaven—it’s causative.

Is something in your life stuck? Unstick it by being grateful right in the midst of whatever is stuck. Watch it unstick—Butterworth says gratefulness makes you full of greatness—and turn into your next blessing.

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