Photo by Warren Millar | PhotoXpress.com

November is the month that we start focusing on being thankful. Gratitude is not something that we should practice just this month, but should be practiced throughout the year.

“Thanksgiving must be practiced.”

Gratitude is not the theme for this month, it one of my core values. I talked about my core values and the importance of having your own. The next several posts will cover my personal core values in more detail.

I’m not always perfect at it, but I strive to be grateful. I have times when I digress and become “normal.” I start to complain about the situations in my life. I can complain about conditions at work. I can complain about how often a vehicle breaks down. I can complain about how long I have to wait in the McDonald’s drive-thru. Well, you get the idea.

The Bible admonishes us to give thanks in everything. Everything. Except…nothing. We are to be thankful.

True gratitude is not something that you just do. Yes, you can make yourself say “thank you” to others when they help you in some way. You can then turn that into a habit so you don’t even think about it – you just say it. But gratitude is not an action. Gratitude is an attitude.

You can outwardly profess gratitude, but if it doesn’t stem from inside, then it is hollow. Just like when your parents made you and your siblings say you were sorry and give each other a hug. You did it so you didn’t get a whooping (wait…can I say that? Oh, well…), but you didn’t mean it.

If you have an attitude of true gratitude, then it will show outwardly. Everyone may show it a little differently, but it’ll show somehow.

A nice “side effect” of having an attitude of gratitude is that you tend to get a little more done. Things are done a little better. You realize that you can stretch a little beyond what you have been doing, and reach to new areas.