First, if you and I want to become people who are grateful for life, we need to come into the presence of Jesus; we need to be the people who put ourselves in a position to experience God’s grace, to experience what it means to say you are loved, accepted and forgiven.
Second, to develop a grateful spirit, we not only come into the presence of Christ, but we need to understand that money isn’t the answer. Please hear me when I say that there is nothing wrong with money! In fact, money is very important, but it isn’t the ultimate answer that brings us to final happiness. We all need a certain amount of money. But, how much money does it take to be happy? Dr Gilbert, a Harvard psychologist found the answer to this question and the results are fascinating! They determined a huge difference between happiness levels of people earning $15,000/year and $40,000/year. However, the difference in happiness levels from those earning $40,000/year vs. those earning $100,000/year was actually, very small. The difference between $100,000 and $1,000,000 a year seems to be no difference at all! At this point, money no longer seems to be the thing that determines your happiness! All the studies seem to indicate that it is not a bad thing to have more, but rather than worrying about the next raise, you would do better to begin focusing on your outlook on life! Our outlook on life is most affected by coming into the presence of Christ. It helps us to realize what is important and how we have been loved, blessed and accepted. It gives us a spirit of gratitude.
Third, when we understand that money is important, but it is not the ultimate answer, we begin to want to share; we want to give our hearts and share our lives; we want to reach out and be a blessing to others. When we bless the life of another, we find the things that really are important. So, what is really important in life? We all know the answer, but we are so inundated with a sense of scarcity in our culture that we forget and we think it’s in consumerism rather than in relationships! We need to decide we have enough to share! If you and I, out of the spirit of gratitude, decide to give our hearts and share our lives, we will find life, we will help to create community and find a place to belong!