Gratitude: some final thoughts

I’m still a beginner. I am far from being grateful in all things. Just this morning I got pissed of with someone who took WAAAAY too long in line at my office (Starbucks). I silently wished them a crappy day. Back to square one. Gratitude in all circumstances is an aspiration, not an accomplishment. Gratitude is […]

Gratitude: Remove labels, then what?

So if we remove labels from our experiences, if we stop evaluating them as “good” or “bad,” then what? Doing so requires a whole different mindset that includes awareness that: I am not in control, I have a very limited view of what is really going on, and I can’t know how things will turn […]

Grateful in all things? First, remove the labels

I began these thoughts about gratitude in preparation for a sermon. I consulted some Bible commentaries to see what scholars had to say about the Apostle Paul’s statements about being “grateful in all circumstances.” I found variations on a theme. Some scholars suggested that Paul meant we are to see even bad things as the […]

Who we miss with selective gratitude

Another drawback to selective gratitude is what we miss with people. In the same confusing manner that Jesus taught us about meekness, persecution, and mourning, he also taught that we are to love our enemies. We are not to love our enemies because it’s the nice thing to do. We love our enemies, because in […]

What we miss with selective gratitude

One of the most difficult, yet gratifying things I did as a university psychologist was to lead a grief group for students each semester. Groups were made up of 6 to 8 students who had experienced the death of a family member or close friend within the previous year. Every one of those brave students […]

Typical gratitude starts with a judgment

Gratitude is not an easy topic for me. The longer I live, the more of a curmudgeon I become. I am disheartened by the state of the world, I’m alarmed at what’s happening in our country, and I’m perpetually annoyed by the way people drive. I hate to stand in line, and I meet people […]

Gratitude 1: the leftovers

We have just celebrated Thanksgiving, the time of year we intentionally reflect on the people, events, and things that bring us joy. Like many others, I celebrated it by gathering with some of my family and eating far too much. It’s easy to feel grateful in that situation, sitting at a table with people I […]