An Attitude of Gratitude

Posted by Roberta Grimes • May 18, 2024 • 16 Comments
Jesus, The Teachings of Jesus

I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up,
And have not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O Lord my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me.
O Lord, You have brought up my soul from Sheol;
You have kept me alive, that I would not go down to the pit.
Sing praise to the Lord, you His godly ones, And give thanks to His holy name.
For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime;
Weeping may last for the night, But joy comes in the morning!

Now as for me, I said in my prosperity, “I will never be moved.”
O Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain to stand strong;
You hid Your face, I was dismayed. To You, O Lord, I called,
And to the Lord I made supplication:
“What profit is there in my blood, if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your faithfulness?
– David (1040 BCE – 962 BCE), King of Israel and Judah, from Biblical Psalm 30.

If there is one mindset above all others that sets us up for happiness, for peace of mind, and for rapid spiritual growth, it is gratitude. I actually didn’t realize how true this is until our much-beloved Wayshower and Best Friend, Jesus, asked me to create with a lot of His help the course in making this present lifetime your last necessary earth-lifetime that we have been teaching since the start of this year. Our first group of thirty-two students completed this course in April, and twenty of them have gone on to the next level of what we have been calling “Wednesday with Jesus.” Meanwhile, there are seventeen students in “Thursday with Jesus” who are just beginning to benefit from what I learned about teaching spiritual growth that first time around! We have begun a list for a third group, and I have found that I do love doing this teaching, and I especially love the beautiful students that I have been meeting and coming to know. But I think that instead of doing this yet again, we are going to develop an AI teacher who can begin now to teach the whole world Jesus’s Gospel-based spiritual growth principles. And I am amazed to tell you that, my goodness, Jesus seems to really like this AI idea!

The Gospel teachings of Jesus truly are the simplest and the most effective way to grow spiritually. But you cannot just read His words and then try to follow His teachings on forgiveness and love. No, for one thing, as we have said elsewhere, forgiving wrongs after they have already been committed is very difficult, so it is really only prevenient forgiveness that works well for most people. And to make your spiritual growth really effective, there is one more thing that you will need to do first of all.

It never would have occurred to me to even wonder why gratitude is so important. But after just three months of closely following Jesus’s lesson plan, it was clear that His plan had worked for our Wednesday with Jesus students astoundingly well! Omigod, for each of the beautiful ones who had been part of that first intensive course, they all to varying degrees seemed to have grown spiritually to a wonderful extent. They could feel it, too. Some of them remarked to me about it. They were becoming much more “together,” and happier people. And in only three months’ time!

We now can see that cultivating an attitude of gratitude is essential preparation for our efforts to grow spiritually. To understand the likely reason why this would be true, please remember two points:

  • Your own mind is a powerful part of one vast, eternal Mind. And at this moment, your mind is helping to create the fear- and negativity-filled reality that you think you see around you.
  • Christianity has taught you to be afraid, and to believe that you are evil and fallen. And until you can elevate your mind above all this negativity, above both the general cultural negativity that your mind helps to create, and the negativity produced by Christianity in particular, you really cannot raise your personal consciousness vibration very much at all.

Just imagine, though, how much different things might be for you if you were able to assume more power over your own mind’s vibration!

It turns out that gratitude is the crucial first aspect of the Gospel teachings of Jesus on forgiveness and love. In fact, it sets the stage for all the rest. Unless we begin with gratitude, we very much complicate the difficulties that we face in making spiritual progress in this lifetime! As I have learned from Thomas as he and I talked about this, cultivating an attitude of gratitude is like plowing the field before you fertilize it with forgiveness, so then finally you can plant seeds of love. And Jesus did talk about preparing the soil if we want to grow spiritually. Consider this: “(Jesus) spoke many things to them in parables, saying, ‘Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear’” (MT 13:3-9). It may be that Jesus said a great deal more about our need to prepare our personal soil by cultivating it with gratitude before we attempt to grow spiritually. But either what He said was less remarked by His listeners, or else it was removed by the first-millennium councils in favor of the showier virtues of forgiveness and love.

In any event, it is time for us to get rid of all the pebbles in our soil and clear those pesky thorns away! And the best way to prepare our own consciousness soil is with a gratitude practice. Here are some points to keep in mind:

  • Gratitude is independent of whatever you see as the current facts of your own life. It is an attitude of mind, and because it is that, you can be grateful no matter what is going on in your life.
  • Living in gratitude will help to ensure that you will spot all the good things in your life. Watching studiously for reasons to be grateful so you can record them in your daily gratitude journal tends to crowd out any ambient negative thoughts.
  • Gratitude begins the process of raising your spiritual vibration. When your focus shifts toward being grateful, you pay less attention to things that trouble you, and a lot more attention to what is good and useful.
  • Gratitude is a way for you to begin to create your own best life. Your mind strongly influences the reality that you think you see around you, so concentrating on reasons for being grateful is a powerful way for you to lighten and lift the reality around you that your mind is helping to create.

You will decide on your own best gratitude practices. But here are four that have been shown by many to work well:

  • Keep a gratitude journal. Write down one new thing every day that you are grateful for; then also write down why you are grateful for it. You will probably start with each of your loved ones to make up the first few days; then move on to personal successes, your work, and your hobbies; and then to things like the weather and elements of nature. You will find that sometime in the second month, you will be down to looking for reasons to be grateful for mosquitoes and a distant dog barking in the night. Do this for at least six months if you can, without duplicating anything. Gratitude-journaling this way helps you to go deeper into what gratitude even means.
  • Broadly share your attitude of gratitude. Never again agree with any negative thing that is said in your presence! Instead, whenever someone complains, don’t disagree, but instead say at once what you are grateful for. Someone hates the president? Say, “I’m grateful that he hasn’t taken us to war,” or “I’m grateful that our taxes aren’t higher.” Someone complains about a cranky old neighbor? Just say, “I’m grateful that he keeps his lawn mowed.” It has been raining for a month? Say, “I’m so grateful that the reservoirs are filling up.” Not only will your always speaking from an attitude of gratitude reinforce your personal gratitude practice, but it also will help those with whom you share these thoughts to begin to cultivate gratitude in themselves.
  • Use gratitude to squash your irritations. Resentments will continue to rise in you until you have perfected your prevenient forgiveness practice, but your work on gratitude will help you to better deal with whatever might be bothering you. Whenever you suffer a cranky thought about anyone or anything, immediately replace it with something that you are grateful for, even if you have to stretch a bit. When your old car is dying, so now you face having to buy another car, just be grateful for the way it has served you so long and so well. When your drunken uncle nearly ruins a family party, just be grateful for how special he made you feel when you were a child. Once you have fully mastered prevenient forgiveness, you will never suffer another resentment in your life; but until then, just use your gratitude habit to help you smother your present irritations.
  • Pray for God’s gifts only in gratitude affirmations. When you say, “Dear God, please fix this,” you affirm its brokenness, which just makes whatever is broken even harder to fix! When instead your prayer affirms the gift of healing by saying “thank you God for fixing this”, that better outcome can begin right away with the assistance of the positive power of your own mind. Instead of claiming the lack, always claim the gift. And when you add “Thank you” for whatever gift or cure your affirmation prayer is claiming, you further energize God’s powers by adding to them and to your own healing powers the energy of your own gratitude. In April of 2009 I first prayed, “Thank You for giving me work to do. Thank You for showing me how to do it,” and I thereby gave the rest of my life to God. It was that simple! I still pray that mantra every day, and the endless pleasures that continue to flow from my impulsive gift are beyond my ability to express them.

My suggestion is that you apply all four of these gratitude practices to your life, and that you thereby prepare your mind for the rapid spiritual growth to come as you move forward into forgiveness and love. You might well choose not to continue to keep a gratitude journal beyond perhaps five or six months. But for you to continue the remaining three gratitude practices for the rest of your life will maintain your grounding in ever greater spiritual health. Most people take to gratitude easily, especially since if you are firm about it, you should find your mood lightening within days. In making gratitude central to your life, you are preparing the soil of your heart to yield a bountiful harvest of forgiveness and love. Beginning with gratitude makes your further spiritual growth so much easier!

10 “Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me; O Lord, be my helper.”
11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness,
12 That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever!
– David (1040 BCE – 962 BCE), King of Israel and Judah, from Biblical Psalm 30.

Roberta Grimes
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16 thoughts on “An Attitude of Gratitude

  1. Thank you for saying something lovely and clever, my dear wonderful Suzie! 🙂

    And for whose who are wondering what happened to the format, seven minutes before this post went out to subscribers at four a.m. US central time, I noticed that the thumbnail this week looked almost the same as last week’s: it was a white guy with his baby. So I felt ambitious about changing that, and ran out of time so subscribers received a free-floating picture in the middle of the blog. I’m sorry about that!

  2. Gratitude….. the mother of all the other virtues.

    Thank you Roberta, Christi Pitliangas

    1. And that indeed it is, my dear Christi! The simple, sweet and unassuming mother of all the other virtues. How wonderfully and wisely said!

  3. Roberta,
    I really like the other ways you offer to bring more gratitude into our daily mindset. Most of us have heard about keeping a journal, but to take it a step further, and find reasons to be grateful when someone brings up the negative, or to pray positively and gratefully is really bringing it to a whole new level. Thank you so much!!!

    1. Oh my dear wonderful and much-beloved Fran, you are very welcome! I learned these ways of interacting with people myself long ago, by experimentation, and I found that they worked so very much better than being cranky with cranky people!

  4. Wonderful post Roberta!
    Every evening before I fall asleep, I recall the events of the day with gratitude – even if not so good – because they are all learning experiences, for which I am grateful.
    The irony is, that I rarely have bad days because an attitude of gratitude seems to continually usher in lovely experiences every day… for which I feel even more gratitude!
    And so the cycle continues… 😀

    1. Oh my dear beloved Kristian, you have learned the great secret, haven’t you? When you live with an attitude of gratitude, gradually it makes you start to be happy all the time!

  5. Roberta, your comments on the importance of gratitude are well taken. Gratitude actually is a key ingredient that facilitates the materialization of positive affirmations in our daily lives. Giving thanks in advance of receiving a gift indicates a strong faith which is definitely a positive as pointed out by Jesus on numerous occasions.

    1. Oh yes, my wonderful, beautiful Thomas, isn’t it amazing how it always works out that way? The more genuine is the gratitude that you feel, the more powerful is the affirmation as you say it!

  6. Dearest Roberta,
    Talk about a delightfully positive cycle:
    The more we are grateful, the more we see those everyday life gifts we were blind to previously. Then we realize we actually have myriad things to be grateful for. Hence we become even more grateful. Life gifts somehow keep increasing and our gratitude deepens yet further.

    And soon, where we thought ourselves lacking, we now find ourselves rich with gifts aplenty. Where we were despondent, we are now uplifted. We felt ourselves neglected and realize that we are loved. We move from sadness to happiness. As we lighten up, we can forgive more readily and love all the more fully.

    All this Roberta, as well as the increased flow of healing biochemicals that ongoing gratitude releases within us. Even on the physical level gratitude heals and promotes a happier mindset!

    Since a sense of abiding gratitude infuses all Jesus teachings, I begin to see what a brilliant strategy He maintains to raise our vibrations toward perfect love. ❣️🙏🏼🕊

    1. Oh my so very much beloved Efrem, I never could say it so well as you can! Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! All of that is precisely right!! That is exactly how spirituality works, precisely, and for all of time!!

    1. You are so perfectly welcome to everything that we have to give you here, dear beautiful Chris!!

  7. I am so grateful that the Light lead me to you and your books. I am looking forward to following through with your on line classes and to grow exponentially.

    1. Welcome, dear wonderful Michael! I don’t know when we will next begin a course, but what we are thinking about doing now is creating a course using AI in some way, so I can help as many people as possible to learn Jesus’s truths. We’ll see where this goes!

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