A THANKFUL HEART
By Carla McDougal
You need to be thankful for what you have. You better change your attitude. Do you have a thankful heart?
Do these statements ring a bell? I remember my mom using these phrases on a regular basis. Her way of discipline was not only through words, but also through facial expressions. As a child, when I displayed an ungrateful attitude, my mom could speak without saying a word. Do you know what I mean? My sisters and I called it––
The Look. Every time the look targeted one of us, it was our clue to straighten up and act right. It’s amazing how the look passed from mom to her daughters. Now, as a mom, I find myself using that same facial expression with my children and it works!
An ungrateful attitude affects not only the person expressing it, but others as well. What does it mean to have a thankful heart? Why not a thankful mouth or a thankful face?
What sets our mouths into motion?
Think about it. When someone is appreciative, her words uplift, encourage, and inspire others. Her words are evidence of a selfless and humble life. With the tongue, we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing (James 3:9-10). In other words, in the same breath, we can sing songs of praise to God and then scream at the driver in front of us. Confession time: “I am guilty as charged.”
What sets our faces into motion?
As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man. Proverbs 27:19
I used to live behind a mask. Every morning, I painted on a smile. But underneath was a woman in the midst of darkness. I was one of those Christians who fell into thinking believers in Jesus couldn’t be depressed and must exhibit joy at all times. Little did I know, my daily mask was slowly cracking. It worked well for a few years, but as time passed, my true feelings surfaced. A mask only works for a short time. It’s a temporary fix. God calls us out from behind the veil to be real, authentic, and holy like Jesus.
What sets our hearts into motion?
The Lord doesn’t look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7
In other words, we often look at the outside of a person while God focuses on the inside. Character develops within the heart of man. The more we love Jesus, the more we reflect Him in our conversations and our actions. As we seek His face, we become His reflection! It all begins in the heart. A grateful attitude reflects a thankful heart, which affects what we say and how we act. A transformed life is the result.
Practicing God’s Truths and biblical principles is the best way to apply them to our lives. So the next time you sit at the dinner table, don’t focus on the delicious food, but on the love that went into making a meal and the one who provided the food. Appreciate the one who spent time preparing, shopping, and creating the family dinner. Ask God to give you a thankful heart, one that serves and encourage others, lends a hand, shares words of affirmation, and one who is grateful in all circumstances. Live life sold out for Jesus with a heart that says, “Life is not about me, but all about Him.” And remember, a grateful heart produces a thankful attitude, which in turn creates peaceful expressions and pleasant words.
Excerpt from Carla McDougal’s New Book Release SOLD OUT: Live for Jesus
Award-winning author and speaker, Carla McDougal founded Reflective Life Ministries in 2008. Her true passion is her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It humbles her to realize His love, grace, and mercy go beyond her understanding. She truly believes laughter is medicine from the Lord that breaks down walls and removes the masks in our lives. As a result, God has taken her around the world to encourage others to live every day for Him. Her latest book, My Prayer Chair, won multiple awards in 2013 and is now available in Spanish. Carla and her husband, Fred, live in the Houston, TX area and have three sons, one daughter, and two daughters-in-“love.” She smiles to think of the experiences God has allowed in her life to teach and remind her “He is in control.” Connect with Carla Here… Facebook & Reflective Ministries