Hey guys! This devotional is going to be another short one but it’s a good one because I want to talk about thankfulness. I’m not sure if I’ve talked about this topic before but what I’ve learned in my life is that thankfulness is sneaky. It’s something that, if left untended to, it begins to grow weeds in your heart. What I mean by that is, that in my life, the times that I’ve felt the lowest are the times that I let blessings go unnoticed. They were planted in my life by God for me to marvel and give Him glory but because of hard things going on inside my head I couldn’t see. Weeds like bitterness, anger, anxiousness and sadness begin to grow and without self-awareness (or the knowledge of things that help uproot those weeds) we feel stuck.
If seems hard to see those blessings; it feels almost impossible sometimes, if I’m being honest. The reason why I say thankfulness is sneaky is because most of the time, I never expected thinking about things that I was thankful for and the power of saying them out loud (how much of a difference that would make to me). However, the power of words is so underrated, guys. There’s a verse in proverbs that has stuck out to me (which by the way, if you want to read more about how much what we say to ourselves and others matters, read some chapters in the middle of that book).
“Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”Proverbs 15:4
I love how to the point the verses in Proverbs are – it’s great. This verse not only shows us that the good things (meaning: encouraging, patient, kind, helpful, etc.) we say to ourselves and others grow a “tree of life.” These words bring life and that more good will come from it. Keeping in mind what a “deceitful tongue” and negative words can do as well. When I think about all the hurt, sadness, anger, and bitterness I can definitely see a crushed spirit. That is why our words matter so much. What we say, how we speak to ourselves/others, are so, so, important. When we focus our attention on what we don’t have or what is hurting us, we dwell on those things inside. All it is really doing is crushing our spirits and bringing more weeds into our hearts. Yet thankfulness, “gentle words,” will always bring life and peace into any situation. That is a huge step in starting to heal from the damage we do when we get used to telling ourselves lies. No longer seeings just the worst in people and situations around us!
Below is a list of things that are so good to do whenever you feel in a slump. If you’re not having a good day or feeling lots of negatives emotions – look to this when your thoughts begin to overwhelm:
- Take some time away from any distractions you might be using to numb your emotions. Even if things begin to feel like ‘a lot’ because I know I do this a ton.
- Write down at least five things you are thankful for and if you can’t think of even one, ask Jesus to show you what they could be. He came so that we don’t have to live in a slump but to live in peace and relationship with Him. He’ll show you what He’s done for you 🙂
- Say the things you wrote down out loud and thank God for them! Even if you don’t feel an immediate change in your attitude, say them again or just think about what each one involves and just sit in those blessings for a bit.
- When any negative emotions start to build again or you find yourself ‘going backwards’ just know that you’re in fact, not going backwards. You are just human and it’s okay if you have to keep saying those things you’re thankful for out loud again and again! It will get better 🙂
There you go! Sometimes the simplest things make the biggest difference for our hearts, minds, and attitudes. Love y’all and I hope this helps you and brings the Lord glory in your lives!