In his new book “Smarter Faster Better”, Charles Duhigg writes about the importance of gratitude and how focusing on the positives in our lives not only improves our brains, but also improves our relationships and how we view the world. He writes, ”Just five minutes daily is all it takes to rewire your brain and unleash everything great in your life – and it starts with Gratitude! By practicing awareness of the positive things in life, we fight off the brain’s natural tendency to scan for and spot the negatives. As a result, we train our brains to be more positive and thus happier.”
Makes a lot of sense but it certainly isn’t a new idea. Didn’t most of us learn this as children, probably at home, and definitely in Sunday School? Sometimes, however, it takes a new voice, or perhaps a new bestseller, to bring these “old” ideas back into focus. At MMFA, we’ve moved away from the traditional stewardship imagery in our work with churches. Instead, we’re talking about Grace, Generosity and Gratitude. Just as Mr.Duhigg suggests, we encourage congregations to make practice of being grateful and to recount the many acts of goodness and grace we experience as children of a gracious God. For us it’s all about the Good News: how we see it and how we spread it in our communities and throughout the world.
Recognizing and acknowledging our gratitude remains an important discipline for all of us. And if you are truly into new things, you might want to check out the Gratitude App for your phone. “Gratitude Journal” encourages users to write 5 things each day that bring us joy and for which we are grateful. Yes, as Apple says (and has trademarked), “There’s an App for that!” Couldn’t be easier.