Gratitude is Good (very, very good)

Andrew Fountain
Sun, 2018-05-27

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Sermon Outline - Gratitude is Good (very, very good)


  1. God loves Gratitude
  2. Gratitude is Good for you (very good)
  3. A Practical Plan

At the end of this talk my goal is that you will be:

  • more thankful
  • as a result you will be happier
  • and less likely to be depressed
  • people will like you more
  • but much more than any of that
    • God loves us to be thankful
    • so you will increase his pleasure in you.
  • We are just finishing a series on Philippians, and here are a couple of examples of gratitude:

Philippians 1 & 4

  1. I thank my God every time I remember you.
  2. Be anxious about nothing, but in everything
    • by prayer [worshiping]
    • and petition [expressing need]
    • with thanksgiving [gratitude]
            let your requests be made known to God.
  3. And the peace of God [his own peace]
          which surpasses all understanding
                will stand guard over your hearts and your minds
                in Christ Jesus
  • All Paul’s writings, and in fact all of the Bible is full of encouragements to be thankful

Colossians 3:15–17

  1. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,
          for which purpose you were chosen in one body;
          and be thankful [to God].
  2. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly:
          in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another
          in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thanks in your hearts to the Lord.
  3. And whatever you do in word or deed,
          do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
          giving thanks to God the Father through him.
  • Occurs three times in these verses
    1. Our hearts (a continual spirit of thankfulness)
    2. The way we talk to each other
    3. Doing whatever we do in a spirit of thankfulness

2. Gratitude is Good for you (very good)

  1. Thankfulness makes us happier
    • One of the single most effective ways of being happy is to increase your level of thankfulness
    • Here are some of the advantages that science has discovered:

A. Thankfulness makes us happier

A. Thankfulness makes us happier

Image source: Shawn Achor

B. Thankfulness makes us healthier.

  • 16% fewer physical symptoms
  • 10% less physical pain
  • 8% more sleep, with improved quality
  • Depressive symptoms reduced 30%
  • Blood pressure reduction
  • Even studies that suggested an increase in lifespan

C. Thankfulness helps us socially

  • Studies have shown that increasing thankfulness has the results:
  • More Friendly
  • Better Marriage
  • More Respect
  • More Friends
  • Deeper Relationships

D. Numerous other benefits

  • Personality
    • More Optimistic
    • More Self-Esteem
  • Emotional
    • More Resilience
    • More Good Feeling
    • Less Depression
  • Career success

3. A Practical Plan

  • God gave us a plan in Ephesians 5:20
  • “…giving thanks at all times and for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”

What did Jesus do?

  • Here is a suggestion from Shaw Achor:

Three Good Things

Three Good Things

Image source: Shawn Achor

This exercise works!

This exercise works!

Image source: Shawn Achor

  • Studies have shown that three months or more can give you 10% across the board increase.
    • Same as doubling your salary
    • One study showed 26% increase!
  • Try to make it a “ritual” (example of the family who did it before dinner and the kids wouldn’t eat until...)

Thankfulness for basic necessities?

  • Food
  • Shelter
  • clothing
  • Safety and Security
  • Freedom from physical pain
  • Access to healthcare
  • Hygiene
  • Stability of life

Thankfulness for added blessings?

  • Excellent food
  • Beautiful and comfortable homes (comparatively)
  • Wonderful freedom of choice of clothing
  • Free time—don’t have to work 24/7
  • Access to culture and entertainment
  • Education
  • Easy transport
  • Communication with friends and family
  • Opportunities to make a difference to the lives of others

Spiritual Blessings Now?

  • Forgiveness of sin
  • Peace with God
  • Loved and adopted by God
  • God’s care over our lives now
  • The gift of his Spirit within us
  • An opportunity to significantly serve God
  • The community of Christ

In Eternity?

  • Secure for eternity
  • A future inheritance which is unimaginably wonderful
  • To reach the potential God has for each of us
  • To experience the love of Christ in its full intensity

2 Corinthians 9:15

“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”

  • Thanks for salvation (It is a gift that you can receive!)

Video taken from Louie Schwartzberg’s TED talk Creative Commons

Updated on 2018-05-31 by Andrew Fountain