Gratitude, Part 1 (The Man in the Mirror, Episode 67)

This podcast is directed to all young people, but primarily to young black men, young black women, and their parents. We are thankful for all the people who are standing up for justice and racial equality. But this podcast is about the man in the mirror. What are you doing for the glory of God, to make life better for others, for your family, and for yourself? This podcast is about living life in such a way that it cuts back on the chance of being harassed or killed by the authorities or anyone else and helps you to live the good life of peace and joy.

Psalm 119:9 says, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.”

Jim Rohn said, “You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself.”

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?'”

In keeping with our theme of dealing with the man (or woman) in the mirror, we are going to continue discussing the building of important biblical character traits in your life. Today, we will begin looking at the quality of Gratitude from the Institute in Basic Life Principles.

If you weed the garden or mow the lawn, and your dad says, “Well done!” does that make you feel happy inside? If you surprise your room by mopping the kitchen floor without being asked and she rewards you, does her delight cause you to smile? Your parents stopped what they were doing, took time to acknowledge your helpfulness, and demonstrated their gratefulness to you with a word or an action. You can give that same encouragement to others! Instead of grabbing the popsicle Mom made for you and rushing outside, stop and thank her for the yummy treat. In the excitement of opening a birthday gift, pause to let the giver know that you appreciate his thoughtfulness. It only takes a moment to express gratitude, but what a difference your thanks can make in another’s life!

The operational definition of gratefulness is “making known to God and others in what ways they have benefited my life.” What would happen if no one ever taught you how to read instructions, road signs, or the Bible? How long would you live if you never received food? What would you do if no one provided a roof over your head? Even the very breath needed for life is a gift God has given to you! Every day you can find reasons to appreciate what God and others do on your behalf. Recognizing these gifts and those individuals who have given them is the fist step in giving honor where honor is due. Gratefulness is then complete when you take that extra time and care to demonstrate outwardly through your words or actions how much you inwardly appreciate what they have done for you.

The opposite of gratefulness is thankfulness. An thankful person does not notice how much others have done for him He may proudly think, “I did such a good job!” without acknowledging those who have helped or trained him. He forgets to say “Thank you,” but rather has the attitude that he deserves certain benefits or favors. He might even murmur or show displeasure with another’s act of kindness toward him, if the deed was not done to his satisfaction. Because he is self—centered, he is also unable to see the efforts of others and how he is blessed by them. The one who is ungrateful misses the opportunity to encourage those around him with a contented attitude, a cheerful countenance and a verbal appreciation for their efforts.


Let’s Pray

Now, in closing, in order to be saved — in order to get right with God — you cannot look at the man in the mirror, but the Man Christ Jesus. First Timothy 2:5 says, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here is how.

John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that -whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can have a home in Heaven. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God bless you.

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