One Way to Change Your Kid’s Perspective on Gratitude

Struggling to get your kids to become more grateful?

Most of us are.

This post from Andy Walker, our Director of Music at Connexus, can help you get some perspective. ūüôā

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You’ve heard it on the radio, we have played it at our church, some of you have danced to it at weddings. “Clap Along If You Feel Like Happiness is The Truth”. ¬†Some of you are probably a little tired of hearing Pharell’s song ¬†“Happy” soaking up the airwaves. However, the song had me thinking. ¬†What does it mean to be truly happy? Is it possible?

Recently I read an article in¬†Time Magazine¬†featuring Louis CK and his famous Conan O’Brien interview, “Everything’s Amazing Now and Nobody’s Happy”. This interview is from a few years ago, but if you haven’t seen it you can check it out¬†here.

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Louis CK says, “Everything’s amazing now and nobody’s happy”.

Now obviously Louis’ schtick is full of embellishment, that’s what makes it funny. ¬†However, he really drives home some great truths. ¬†As a culture and (personally I am guilty of this) we miss out on God’s blessings in our lives because we take so much for granted.

If Louis’ statement is true, ¬†you could say that the corollary is also true. ¬†Gratitude leads to happiness.

Now, the there are many arguments for what happiness is.  What I am talking about is contentment.  Living a fulfilled life.

So often the answer to having a fulfilled life rests in our hands.

I am reminded of my grandfather when I think about gratitude.  He was one of the most successful, yet generous people I have ever known.  My Grandpa Bill knew what gratitude was.

Four years ago my grandfather died from cancer.

Towards the end of one of his appointments with the oncologist he was informed that his cancer was terminal, he would have months to live.   In the stillness of this moment my grandfather responded in a way I will never forget.

He said, “I am grateful. ¬†Grateful for the life I have had and grateful for my family.”

I truly believe that he knew his life was from God.  In a moment of fear and sadness my grandfather chose gratitude.  He knew that his life was a gift and he was thankful even in the midst of death.

1 Thessalonians¬†5:18¬†says, “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God‚Äôs will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”

Is it possible to be grateful in all circumstances? ¬†That’s a tough one. ¬†I believe we can, but we have to choose gratitude.

I’m not saying I do this. ¬†I believe it in my head, but my heart needs to catch up. ¬†If you have mastered this please let me know!

So, how can we choose to lead a more grateful life?  I think, like anything it takes practice.  But we need to choose to do it.

This week I encourage you all to thank God for all that you have.

The Time article says to keep a notepad by your bed and every day write three things that you are thankful for.

You may find that this habit could turn into a life of gratitude and fulfilment.

I’d love to hear from you. ¬†What are you all grateful for? ¬†What habits do you practice to live a life of gratitude?

– Andy

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Now that’s perspective isn’t it? Both from the standpoint of Andy’s grandpa and from Louis C.K.’s amusing and perspective-shifting ‘rant’.

So the next time your kids tell you they’re entitled to something or they show a lack of gratitude, remind them of how amazing this life really is, and remind them how to be thankful in all circumstances.

Over time, it will help change their perspective as it also changes yours.

– Carey

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1 Comment

  1. Patricia Konkle says, July 26, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Andy,

    Loved your article! A life of gratitude came real easy to me. Seventeen years ago I suffered two TIA’s at the hands of doctor’s within 24 hours of each other‚Ķthat led me on a very long journey. I have learned to be grateful for everything!
    I am grateful for the breath that God’s breathes into my body each and everyday I wake up!
    I am grateful for health and strength to do my job!
    I am grateful for my family and extended family and friends .
    I am so grateful for the birds that we see each day, and how every detail is absolutely perfect on their little bodies!
    I am so grateful for the beauty that surrounds us …just look at all that God created for our enjoyment.
    I am so grateful for God’s provision for us, for our home, our vehicles, our jobs!
    I am so grateful for our Pastor Carey Nieuwhof and his ministry! and for Connexus, a church where many will find, and have found Christ, who loves them unconditionally!

    I could go on and on…these are a few reasons why I am so grateful !

    Patricia K

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