I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. —3 John 4
Numerous secular studies attest to the health benefits of the attitude of gratitude. The Research Project on Gratitude and Thanksgiving, conducted by two psychologists, broke several hundred people into three groups. One group kept a gratitude diary, and the other two were told to simply concentrate on routine events or negative experiences. The gratitude group reported greater levels of alertness and energy, exercised more frequently, and experienced less depression and stress.1 From better sleep to fewer medical symptoms, gratitude just seems to satisfy.
The apostle John says to his beloved sons and brothers in Christ, “I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul” (3 John 2). He’s right—there’s something physically strength- ening and sustaining about being joyful in the Lord and grateful for His blessings. While living a godly life does not guarantee physical health, a healthy (spiritual) heart can do much to enhance our physical and emotional well-being.
1R. A. Emmons and M. E. McCullough, “Counting Blessings Versus Burdens: Experimental Studies of Gratitude and Subjective Well-Being in Daily Life,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 84 (2003): 377–89.
Make it Personal
What differences do you notice in your overall wellness and outlook when you choose to practice gratitude?