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DISCIPLINE OF GRATEFULNESS…

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” -Colossians 3:15

Psychologist Robert Emmons wanted to prove that happiness was quantitative; it could be decreased or increased and that circumstance really doesn’t determine someone’s long-term happiness.

On a long enough timeline, the psychologist found that every person has a central point of happiness that stays the same over the long term. So say, on a scale of one to ten, you’re normally a five, but when you win the lottery, you go to a ten. However, eventually you’re going to go right back to a five. Or, say something horrible happens in your life and you go down to a one or a two. Eventually, you’re going to come back to that five. So, there’s something built into the psychodynamic of an individual that always brings them back to the central point of happiness.

So, he decided to try to find a way to move that line up permanently and he did – through practices and disciplines of gratitude. The most effective practice was to, once a week, write a list of the top five things to be thankful for. He watched as every single list-writer became a happier person as they practiced the discipline of gratefulness.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, I want to practice the discipline of gratefulness. My happiness is based solely on my appreciation for the blessings and love you give me each day. Amen.

REFLECTION: What are the top five things you are thankful for today?

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