Biblical Reasons Why We Should
And Practical Suggestions on How We Can
Create Heaven on Earth
I believe there is great value in cultivating gratitude.
We should spend more time thanking God for all we have.
Here are some of the answers I received when I asked people to tell me
|5 things you like to do||5 things you hope to do in the next 12 months.||5 things that make 2004 better than 1804||The 5 greatest achievements of the human race in the next 200 years. (2004-2204)||5 things you look forward to doing throughout all eternity|
||[many answered that end will come
before 2204, or that things will get worse, not better]
|I now ask three things about the
items in this column:
Which of the items in this column are human beings forbidden to attempt to achieve in this life?
Which of the items in this column are metaphysically impossible for human beings to achieve in this life, no matter what Christ has done for us? (Compare to answers in column "D")
Which items in this column are not really promised in the Bible?
The psychological and physical effects of gratitude have been studied:
A universal experience and a component of many religious traditions for centuries, gratitude is being recognized not simply as a desirable virtue, but also as an essential element to wholeness and well-being.
| The Christian Science Monitor
Expressing gratitude is transformative, just as transformative as expressing complaint. Imagine an experiment involving two people. One is asked to spend ten minutes each morning and evening expressing gratitude (there is always something to be grateful for), while the other is asked to spend the same amount of time practicing complaining (there is, after all, always something to complain about). One of the subjects is saying things like, "I hate my job. I can't stand this apartment. Why can't I make enough money? My spouse doesn't get along with me. That dog next door never stops barking and I just can't stand this neighborhood." The other is saying things like, "I'm really grateful for the opportunity to work; there are so many people these days who can't even find a job. And I'm sure grateful for my health. What a gorgeous day; I really like this fall breeze." They do this experiment for a year. Guaranteed, at the end of that year the person practicing complaining will have deeply reaffirmed all his negative "stuff" rather than having let it go, while the one practicing gratitude will be a very grateful person. . . Expressing gratitude can, indeed, change our way of seeing ourselves and the world.
—Roshi John Daido Loori
Can you see the holiness in those things you take for granted--a paved road or a washing machine? If you concentrate on finding what is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.
—Rabbi Harold Kushner
I believe that a daily effort to be grateful and to believe in the possibility of progress in this life can revolutionize an individual's walk with God, and change the world when a sizeable minority puts these steps into practice.
I believe one of the best ways to develop gratitude is by imagining that this is heaven. Such an exercise will cause you massive "cognitive dissonance" ("how can this be heaven?") which will force you to alleviate it by "counting your blessings."
But most people think this is ridiculous. This can't be heaven, they say, because of X, Y, and Z; imperfections in life, bad people doing bad things, or death at an early age. They can't even begin to imagine that this is what God promised; that this life somehow fulfills God's end of the bargain. Grumble and complain.
Some will say it's not being selfish, but being true to God's Word, which describes heaven in a way that does not at all match the present age.
But there's a destructive form of circular reasoning here, and eliminating that cycle is the purpose of this book.
People say this can't be heaven because of various evils that they observe. If I were to say that particular imperfection could be eradicated with concerted social action, and I invite those people to join me, they refuse, because we are not supposed to "bring in the Kingdom" by our own efforts. We won't experience heaven on earth until Jesus comes back, and trying to do so before He returns is sinful.
People who are more grateful are less likely to be waiting around to be raptured to heaven. Gratitude breeds action, because action increases the things we are grateful for.
Three Truths to Help You Create a Life of Gratitude | Zen Habits
The Art of Nonconformity » You Are Incredibly Rich
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