Scripture: "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8
What if there was a pair of glasses that actually changed how you experience life? For example, without them, you pick up a cup of coffee and it's bland and tasteless. But then you put them on, and that same cup becomes robust with flavor and intoxicating in smell. Did you know that God actually has a pair of glasses for you that will radically improve how you experience your life? It's true, and He is offering them to you today.
Jesus said something pretty intense: "Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. But when it is bad, your body is filled with darkness." Luke 11:34 Light or darkness: Your eye determines it. Now, if you're like me, you really want your body to be filled with light, so you need to know how to make your eye "good," especially if your vision has been bad, like mine. And the Bible gives us just the answer.
There is this game in some magazines where you look at a photo and try to find what is wrong in the picture. Like if it were a garden photo, maybe the wheelbarrow would be missing a handle, or the bumblebees would be purple. Nothing big, but the point is to focus on what is wrong, instead of what is right. Isn't this how we live our lives, too? However, the Bible says to do just the opposite. Philippians 4:8 says,
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."
So, say you're looking at that garden photo. Instead of looking at the one-handled wheelbarrow or purple bumblebees (which would be kind of cool to see anyway!), you would focus on the vibrancy of the roses, the blueness of the sky, and the gracefulness of the trees. Think how different you would feel! Instead of feeling negative and down, suddenly, you feel overtaken with all the beauty God has to offer you! This is how God wants you to live your life, and it's by putting on the glasses of gratitude.
I recently heard a "joy expert" say that the #1 thing that determines a person's level of happiness is gratitude. Not the abundance of things or the absence of stress, but just being constantly aware and thankful of all the wonderful things around you. In fact, she said that she had seen countless people arise from severe depression just by thinking of 5 things they are thankful for every morning. Wow, what an incredible prescription for depression and anxiety: Gratitude! Think of all the things we totally take for granted: the beauty of the sky; the sun coming up every day and the moon every night; the relationships we have; and the food, clothing, and shelter that God provides. The Bible says, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17
Let's do an experiment this week, of looking at things in a grateful way instead of a negative way. So, for example, my normal, negative way would be to wake up and think, "Ugh. I have to go to work today. Blah. I wish I had the day off." But then, I put on my gratitude glasses and say, "Oh, thank You God that I have a wonderful job! I actually get paid to do something that I really like! And I get to go see my coworkers, instead of being alone all day! Thank You!" Do you see the difference that would make in my day? All of a sudden, I start to experience things in a whole new, positive way. And you can do that with any situation, even the hardest ones. Are you willing to take the Gratitude Glasses Challenge with me this week? Every morning we will put them on, and if we forget and start to go through our day in a negative way, we can just put them on then! The wonderful thing with gratitude is you can do it anytime, anywhere. You can bring amazing blessings to people's lives (and your own!) just by being thankful.
Will you do it? If so, write 5 things you are thankful in the Comments below. By putting on your gratitude glasses right now, you will notice an immediate change in your perspective! Let's live the way God wants us to, and not the negative, depressing way that we might be used to. I'm so thankful for you!