Thankfulness. Appreciation. Gratitude. These states of being are not natural but learned behaviors. Typically, these sentiments are explained and modeled to us as children. They then become conscious choices until thankfulness is an attitude habit. A Holiday Wellness Plan would not be complete without appreciating the reason for the season with our soul, mind, and body. Continuing our HOLIDAY acronym, A is for an Attitude of Appreciation.
Americans pause in late November for a day of thanks. But over the last few years, I have tried to daily create an attitude of appreciation. My methods vary, but I mainly try to live my life as a thank you note to God. I am not only grateful for His saving grace but also my soul, mind, and body wellness.
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ ~Matthew 22:37 (NLT)
Wellness is not solely physical health but also being well in our mind and soul. Loving God and being well in my soul transcends all others. Our soul is the most integral part of us which lives on forever. Appreciating and understanding the state of my soul is part of what my journey is all about. It manifests in the conscious choices of my life.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. ~Romans 12:2 (NLT)
Making the conscious choice of letting God transform my thinking allows me to better learn God’s will for me. The world says think only about me. God’s way tells us to think of Him, others, and then ourselves.
The greatest among you must be a servant. But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. ~ Matthew 23:11-12 (NLT)
I imagine thankfulness as an expression of humbleness. Having an attitude of appreciation realizes life’s gift are not always of my own making. This shift of thinking is not natural, but when we allow God to transform our thoughts, we begin to cultivate an attitude of appreciation.
With an appreciative soul and mind, I then direct my body. The apostle Paul tells us:
Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. ~ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NLT)
Our mind directs all actions of our body. We move and breathe and have our being all because of the gifts God gives to us. Let’s actively appreciate God with our bodies today and all throughout the holidays.
Cultivate an attitude of appreciation
- Connect daily with God in prayer, worship and/or putting His Word into our mind and soul. God desires a relationship with us, but a relationship involves actions on both ends. He assures us when we seek Him, we will find Him.
- Enthusiastically seek His path and follow it this Holiday season. This could be a formal worship experience, creating a daily prayer or Bible habit or just being still in His presence.
- Allow God to transform your thoughts. Pay attention to what you put into your mind this Holiday season. God warns in the Bible of the evil of following worldly ways. They push us down a slippery slope moving away from God’s best. The Bible is full of examples of how God’s people were led away from Him by letting the world transform their thoughts.
- Appreciate the Reason for the Season: the gift of salvation through Jesus. Don’t get sucked into shifting your focus from Him. If you do, work to eliminate what is leading you astray.
- Honor our bodies as God’s temple. We are each a unique expression of God’s creation. Appreciate it accordingly. No one else can take care of our bodies like us. Limit indulgences and maintain your body with exercise and quality sleep in the midst of busier holiday moments. If too busy, then let go of something to make room for honoring God with our bodies.
Cultivating an attitude of appreciation is a conscious choice. But these purposeful acts of appreciating our soul, mind, and body as we live for Him this Holiday Season will create lasting habits into the New Year. We can then begin the new year with a renewed attitude of appreciation of His presence and purpose for our lives.