What you appreciate, appreciates… When you learn to appreciate more of what you already have, you will find yourself having more to appreciate.
Matthew 25:23, “His lord said unto him, well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”
The word “Faithful” Greek here means: trustworthy, trustful.
Matthew 25:28-29, “Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.”
So as written above: What You Appreciate, Appreciates… According to the WORD the determining factor to having “abundance” (living a quality life) is being trustful or trustworthy. You CAN be trusted! So as abundance is given to a vessel of “trust”, the implication is “I am responsible for, and care for what I carry, possess or contain, based on my perceived value.”
When we depreciate something, we devalue or diminish its worth. When we appreciate something or someone we give value with approval and praise! When we appreciate things, we “mean” to increase their worth. It’s impossible to feel grateful for something or someone that we do not value!
Proverbs 31:10-11, “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil”She is a vault – a “safety depository” – carrying the most valuable possession of a man – his heart. So, he has no need of “spoil,” no “booty,” to loiter…
Remember, Gratitude means “the feeling of thankfulness and APPRECIATION.” The etymology is “thankful and pleasing.” The root is “gratus” or “grace” meaning God’s favor or help. Also, associated meanings: Pleasing, Quality, Favor, Good will, Agreeable. It’s from the pie-base “giver” meaning: To praise, To welcome, To sing, To announce. So being grateful is really to “praise”, to “welcome” and to “announce.”
The only way I can praise or have an attitude of gratitude in all things, is by His grace, meaning: Kindness and Favor. Therefore, without grace I cannot truly be appreciative and thankful.
So when I am gracious, I am grateful which literally means “enjoying favor!”
Look for What is Right and Appreciate It. The word “appreciate” has several meanings: To be thankful or show gratitude; To raise or increase in value. Think of everything you criticize regularly and you will see where you have failed to appreciate or find value. The moment you participate in the “depreciation” process (you stop valuing) and that is the moment you block your ability to experience gratefulness and ultimately abundance.
The Law of Recognition: What you don’t recognize will eventually exit your life. What you celebrate, appreciates. Anything unrecognized remains uncelebrated… a gift, a miracle, a person. What you respect, you attract!
Remember- You can’t conquer what you don’t confront, and you can’t confront what you don’t identify – LET’S LOOK AT SOME OF THE OBSTACLES TO BEING GRATEFUL:
Familiarity can be fatal: It’s where you begin to take things for granted. It’s when you go through life unaware of the multitudes of blessings and gifts that are here each and every moment.
Psalm 90:12 (NIV) “Teach each of us to number our days aright, that me may gain a heart of wisdom.” Time has always been a part of God’s creation. As time passes it is not lost as much as it is invested. Hour by Hour we invest time in celebration or resentment, rest or worry, giving or grumbling. Invested wisely, time enables us to enjoy a sweet today and avoid a sour tomorrow…
You must break any “entitlement fallacy” that you are “owed” something in life and begin to change an attitude of ingratitude by imagining how empty your life would be without the blessings of God given to you. Often we don’t appreciate what we have until we lose it!
Here are the steps to take: Remind yourself that there are no ordinary moments. Resolve to cherish each and every day of your life. Awareness causes you to embrace your life journey with gratitude, so HOW you travel your path is more important then reaching your ultimate destination.
Here are some obstacles: Complaining. Complainers remain and praisers get raised. The complainer always feels short-changed, deprived and picked on in life. They consequently become envious and bitter towards those who seemed to have been blessed with what’s missing in their own life. They tend to suffer with secret resentment. Hannah and Peninnah are a classic example. Her blessing was salt in the wound of Hannah’s failure.
Another obstacle is finding fault, or being judgmental. Important to understand- Gratitude is rooted in grace! When grace is your case, you are non-judgmental. Non-judgmental of yourself, of others, of events, of situations…
Romans 3:23-24, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus”You must extend yourself and others the same love and mercy that God extended to you!
Ephesians 2:4-5, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, by grace ye are saved.” That means I must live the same patterns and practices of Jesus (to be non-judgmental) and practice forgiveness.
Gratitude comes with forgiving any offense, hurt, pain, anything… Letting it all go and extending grace & love! By walking in forgiveness you relieve yourself of the burden of carrying the hurt, anger pain, isolation, and all that occurred as the result of an “act” against you.
“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive he who is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us…” –Martin Luther King Jr.
Once you make compassion a higher priority then judgment, it makes sense to forgive. So to be a person of non-judgment means to be a person of grace. This doesn’t mean you have compromise and no conviction, that you just “trust” everything and every one.
Romans 6:1, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” No – because we died to “sin” in Christ, therefore how can we live IN IT any longer?
“Fault-finding” is not a matter of what you observe in your world but when you choose a critical or angry point of view! Its what you do with what you see.
Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude- Develop an awareness of yourself as a recipient, not a victim. Philippians 4:13 (KJV), “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” Say, “Thank you” – Psalm 100:4 (KJV), “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” Tell those around you how much you appreciate them! John 15:12 (KJV), “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”
Cut off complaining and criticizing- Psalm 34:13 (NIV), “keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.”
Proverbs 10:31-32 (NIV), “The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but a perverse tongue will be cut out. The lips of the righteous know what is fitting, but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse.”
Change your way of thinking to powerful and positive! Philippians 4:8 (KJV), “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
Remember, it’s the nature of thought to increase. The more your thoughts center on what is missing, the more deficient you will feel. Attitudes create atmospheres, which create actions. The natural extension of being grateful is the development of a generous heart.
If it’s too much to give, it’s too much to receive!