VOLUME VII, Number 39
The Benefits of Gratitude
According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, researchers have found that "adults who frequently feel grateful have more energy, more optimism, more social connections and more happiness than those who do not. . . . They’re also less likely to be depressed, envious, greedy or alcoholics. They earn more money, sleep more soundly, exercise more regularly and have greater resistance to viral infections."
Dr. Robert Emmons, a professor of psychology at the University of California-Davis, was one of the leading researchers in study that reached these conclusions. He’s quoted as saying that the act of feeling gratitude requires "self-reflection, the ability to admit that one is dependent upon the help of others, and the humility to realize one’s own limitations."
As Christians, we are frequently exhorted and reminded to be thankful--not just in general, but specifically to God--not just some of the time, but all of the time. Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
The benefits of giving thanks are among the countless examples of the way obeying God's Word has benefits we never would have expected.