Joy and the Practice of Gratitude

Currently I’m teaching through the book of Philippians at the church I pastor, The Road @ Chapel Hills. It’s been wonderful among many things, to discover how much modern psychology, sociology and neuroscience, line up with the ancient truths of the Bible. The modern disciplines have discovered that gratitude is one of the keys to joy.

Paul was personally experiencing what modern science is only just beginning to discover! He understood that joy flows from the practice of gratitude. He begins this manifesto of joy by writing, “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.” Paul loved the Philippians and was thankful for them.

We all need heart-to-heart relationships. We are hard wired for connection. God made us for needing people in our lives. Even the most introverted person needs loving caring relationships. Joy comes through heart-to-heart relationships.

I used to subscribe to the notion of an “attitude of gratitude.” But I’ve learned that an attitude is only a way of thinking and doesn’t always translate into behavior. What we observe with Paul is the practice of gratitude.

Paul was practicing gratitude through his remembrance and prayers for the Philippians. Wholehearted, joyful people practice gratitude in their relationships. Joyfulness is tied to a spirit of gratitude.

Practice gratitude today. Tell a friend how much they mean to you. Start a gratitude journal and write daily what you’re thankful for. Stop once each day to just say, “I’m thankful for…”

On the road,


Steve Holt D.D. MA
Twitter: pastorsteveholt
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