Wednesday, November 30, 2022

My Two Radio Interviews with Phillip Lee (on Progressive Christianity)

 


(Lake Erie, Monroe, MI)

Thank you Phillip Lee for interviewing me on your radio show!

The two interviews on Progressive Christianity aired on Keri 1410 AM (Bakersfield, CA), and WLMR Am and FM (Chattanooga, TN).

You can listen to the first interview HERE.

Interview #2 is HERE.

Philip's website is His Way Out Ministries - hiswayout.com


The Transformation of the Mouth

 


                                                                 (Monroe County)

James 3:3-12 is about an out-of-control mouth that ruins Jesus-communities with untruths. In James, one of the problems is antinomianism; viz., the misguided idea that one can have faith without obedience to Christ. This is why James stresses that faith without deeds is dead. Our hearts and mouths are to be obedient to the ways of Jesus. 

James understands the power of words. He knows that such a small (micro) thing as the mouth can have mega-effects (megala) vastly disproportionate to its size. 

The tongue, writes James, is a fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. Divisive untruths, gossip, slander, flattery, and a critical spirit are rooted in evil.  (Slander is saying something behind a person's back that you would never say to their face; flattery is saying something to a person's face that you would never say behind their back.)

New Testament scholar Scot McKnight writes, "Hell inspires the abusive tongue." (McKnight, James, 286) Words that tear down rather than build up, words of hatred rather than love, words showing favoritism of one person over another, all rise out of a heart in touch with hell.

Why such strong language? After all, doesn't the old proverb apply here? "Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me." To the contrary, "Far easier to heal are the wounds caused by sticks and stones than the damage caused by words." (Moo, in McKnight, James, 286)

James ramps up the intensity when he writes: "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness." 

For James this is crazy, because it means blessing a person with your words, and then cursing the same person with your words. "Cursing” is a failure to see in one another God’s image. (David Nystrom, James) This is why James adds "who have been made in God's likeness." 

If you curse a person you are cursing God’s image in that person. Thus, we have the contradiction:

1. I praise God.
2. I curse God (via cursing people who are made in the image of God).

This is the incongruous "double-mindedness" James warns about. He is addressing Christians who praise God with their mouths on Sunday mornings, and on Sunday afternoons brutalize people on social media. Or in their homes. 

Cursing is tearing down the image of God in other people. N. T. Wright writes that if "someone turns out to be pouring out curses – cursing other humans who are made in God’s likeness – then one must at least question whether their heart has been properly cleansed, rinsed by God’s powerful spirit. And if that isn’t the case, that person is getting their real inspiration from hell itself." 

How can our mouth be healed of its abusive ways? The answer for James, and his biological brother Jesus, is by focusing on the mouth's source, which is the heart. To rescue your mouth, focus on your heart. Let your heart align with the heart of Jesus. If your heart is pure, your words will be pure. Nystrom writes:

“Jesus understood actions to be revelatory of character, as the saying “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit” attests. He also believed our speech to be revelatory of character, which is the essential point being made here. Our speech comes from the heart.”

So what can we do? I like how Oswald Chambers directs us. He writes:

"Jesus says that there is only one way to develop spiritually, and that is by concentration on God. “Do not bother about being of use to others; believe on Me” — pay attention to the Source, “and out of you will flow rivers of living water. We cannot get at the springs of our natural life by common sense, and Jesus is teaching that growth in spiritual life does not depend on our watching it, but on concentration on our Father in heaven. Our heavenly Father knows the circumstances we are in, and if we keep concentrated on Him we will grow spiritually as the lilies."

The message of James 3:3-12 is that, while humanity has failed to tame the human tongue, God can tame our mouth, as we abide in him.

***
Encounters with the Holy Spirit (co-edited with Janice Trigg)

Relationships: How to Make Them Safe and Strong, by Linda and John Piippo (coming in 2023)

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Truth Excludes



(Downtown Monroe)

Former USC philosopher Dallas Willard writes:

"There is a certain logical exclusiveness built into knowledge as such, and it must be respected... This is due to the fact that knowledge (not mere belief, commitment, sentiment, or tradition) involves truth. Truth by its very nature is exclusive in the following sense. If any belief is true, that by itself excludes the truth of any belief contrary or contradictory to it. And this “exclusion” is not a matter of what anyone wants or hopes to be true or false. For example, if “Sue’s dress is red” is true, then “Sue’s dress is white” and “Sue’s dress is not red” are false. It does not matter what anyone may think or want. It is simply a matter of the objective logical relations between the beliefs (or statements or “propositions”) involved."

- Dallas Willard, Knowing Christ Today: Why We Can Trust Spiritual Knowledge, pp. 170-171

Truth marginalizes. Truth excludes.


You have a worldview, a set of beliefs through which you interpret reality and experience. Your worldview excludes masses of people. 


Here is an example. 


When I was speaking in India, the hotel I stayed in had an altar in the lobby. Every morning a young Hindu priest, dressed in a white skirt, lit incense sticks on the altar, and offered prayers to the god of the hotel. This scene can be captured in the following statements:


1. There is a god who watches over the hotel.

2. Appeasing this god with the burning of incense and other sacrifices helps ensure that the hotel will succeed financially.
3. Uttering prayers of worship to this god increases the probability that the god will show favor towards the hotel.
4. To not perform #s 1 and 2 may cause the god of the hotel to be angry, and bring harm or disaster to it.

Take statement 1. If it is true, then I, who think it is false, am wrong. Such is the nature of truth. The Hindu priest knows something I do not. I am logically excluded from such knowledge.


I think statement 1 is false. If I am right, then statements 2-4 are false, since there exists no "god of the hotel" to be appeased.


It is not rude or impolite to talk like this. It is not disrespectful. Marginalization is epistemically unavoidable. Willard writes: 


"It is not arrogant and unloving merely to believe that you are right about something and that others are wrong... There have, after all, been many people who were strongly convinced of the rightness of their beliefs, in religious and other matters, without being arrogant and unloving." (Ib., 170)


In embracing the truths of your worldview, you have excluded many. That's just the way truth works. 

Monday, November 28, 2022

JOIN ME FOR Discipleship Opportunities in December and the New Year

 


I will offer the following discipleship opportunities, coming soon.

JOIN ME IN KNOWING THE REAL JESUS THIS CHRISTMAS

Beginning December 2, and on every day to December 25, I will post a 5-8 minute video on Jesus. These videos will help you focus on Christ during this season. They will also add to your understanding of the Real Jesus. You can use each video as a devotional exercise. 

JOIN ME IN LAUNCHING A PRAYING MOVEMENT IN YOUR CHURCH AND BEYOND

Several churches will use my new devotional book for the month of January. 31 Letters to the Church on Praying. Join me and others who will be praying for God to move mightily in our home churches, and churches across our state, even our nation.

TAKE MY CLASS ON SPIRITUAL FORMATION AND TRANSFORMATION

I will teach my class How God Changes the Human Heart in Renewal School of Ministry. This class is one I have taught in seminaries, at conferences and retreats, in our country and around the world. Meeting dates/times: Six Monday classes, on Zoom, 8 - 9:30 PM, beginning Monday January 16 and ending Feb. 20. Cost: only $10 for all six sessions! Registration information is HERE

And, if you're interested, I'll teach my Spiritual Formation class at Payne Theological Seminary in Wilberforce, Ohio. Feb. 28 - March 3. 9 AM - 5 PM. In Payne's M.Div. and M.A. in Theology programs. See here.

Course Description

CM 450 Spiritual Formation 3 Credits. This course is designed to engage participants in an exploration and expansion of their inner spiritual life utilizing the spiritual disciplines. Personal transformation is an internal process that occurs as the individual allows God access to the whole of one’s being and life. The course combines: 1) Personal encounter with God; 2) Keeping a spiritual journal as a record of the activity of God in one’s life; 3) Corporate sharing of one’s experience with God; 4) Select a book from the bibliography that is relevant to one’s spiritual development and formation. 5) Write a 5-page paper on the book and one’s interaction with it. Biblical and theological reflection on key issues that arise in the life of one who seriously engages in the spiritual disciplines. 


My Sermon "Gentleness as Divine Power" (11/28/22)

FORGIVENESS - Resources



(Leading the Presence-Driven Church students, Faith Bible Seminary, NYC)


(I'm re-posting this to keep it in play.)


A QUIZ

Which one is the road to freedom?

a. to forgive

b. to nurture an offense


Linda and I are always talking with people about forgiveness. Here are  links to things I have written about forgiveness.

We all need it, and need to learn it, and practice it. 

For Jesus-followers, this is the heart and soul of the Gospel. 

Sunday, November 27, 2022

An Atheist Tries to be Thankful to Something

(Flowers in my front yard)























I often have a feeling, a sense, of gratitude that leads me to say, "thank you." I experience existential thankfulness for life, for being alive. My very existence is a gift. 

As a Christian theist my words of thanksgiving are addressed to God. God, thank You... so very much! 


For an atheist things are different.

Ronald Aronson, Professor of the History of Ideas at Wayne State University, wrote an essay called "Thank Who Very Much?" The reason for the question mark is that, as an atheist, Aronson feels "thankful," but because God does not exist he wonders just who or what he should thank.


Aronson believes a person can be legitimately thankful without either: a) belief in a God; or b) falling into existentialist absurdity. What's his alternative?


He writes: "Think of the sun's warmth. After all, the sun is one of those forces that make possible the natural world, plant life, even our very existence. It may not mean anything to us personally, but the warmth on our face means, tells us, a great deal. All of life on earth has evolved in relation to this source of heat and light, we human beings included. We are because of, and in our own millennial adaptation to, the sun and other fundamental forces."


So? For Aronson, one can feel gratitude by "acknowledging one of our most intimate if impersonal relationships, with the cosmic and natural forces that make us possible." An atheist can show gratitude "to larger and impersonal forces." Because "we derive our existence from, and belong to, both natural forces and generations that preceded us, ... it is just possible that we will often feel connected [to such forces and generations], and often grateful."


Aronson says that when we gather together with friends on one of those snuggly holiday nights, we may be overcome by "a warm, joyous, comfortable feeling, even a moment of well-being - but to whom or to what?" The answer is: "Obviously, to natural forces and processes that have made our own life, and this reunion, possible."


So, thank you strong force, thank you weak force, thank you electromagnetic force, than you gravity, thank you evolution. Thank you particles, protons, neutrons, electron, quarks, and dark matter. 


Good night, moon.

For me, this attempt to find some object of gratitude sans God doesn't work. I'll take the following dichotomy: either God, or Camus-ian absurdity. Aronson's idea sounds like a spiritless animism (which is, of course, a contradiction). 


Thankfulness, if it is to have any meaning at all, requires inter-personality. I experience innumerable moments of gratitude, but have never felt like thanking the wall of my house for holding up the roof. Thanking "impersonal forces," no matter how "large" they are, is no different than walking outside and thanking your lawn for being green. See again Camus, Sartre, and a host of atheistic existentialists who write on the absurdity of moral feelings, purposive feelings, and so on.


To say "Thank you" only makes sense if there is someone who can or could have responded, "You are welcome."


Aronson the atheist feels thankful. I do not doubt this. As an atheist, he doesn't want his thankful feelings to be absurd. But thanking impersonal forces is absurd, like thanking your stuffed teddy bear for loving you. 


The raw truth remains: No God = no ultimate meaning. Such is the logic of atheism, on which there is nothing, no one, to thank.

Friday, November 25, 2022

Two Modes of Thankfulness

 


("The One Who Showed Mercy")

Not every mode of thankfulness is to be applauded.

One misguided form of thankfulness is seeing a beggar on the street, and thinking, "Thank God I am not like this beggar; that, while she does not have a roof over her head and food to eat, I do. And for this, I give thanks." 

This is hierarchical gratitude. One sees people who have less than I. This is accompanied by a feeling of gratitude for having more than they. 

"More than they" means things like: more giftedness, more opportunity, more stuff, more money, more beauty, more experience, more square footage. The "prayer" that rises to God out of one's place on the status-honor hierarchy sounds like: "Today, God, as we approach Thanksgiving Day, we know there are people who do not have food enough to eat. We see them on TV. We read about them on the internet. But we do have enough to eat. For this bounty, we give You thanks."

That is Pharisaical thankfulness. It's a gratitude that grows in the soil of confidence in one's own righteousness and status.

Luke 18:9-14 says, "To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'  "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."" 

Pharisaical thankfulness is comparative, based on the idea that one's physical condition and circumstances indicate the approval or disapproval of God. The man born blind must have sinned, or at least his parents must have sinned. Thus, he deserves his blindness.

"The Pharisee stood up and prayed about." His self-prayer ("I... I... I...") only makes sense on the honor-shame hierarchy. His occasion of thankfulness is someone else's infirmity. Pharasaical thankfulness looks like this: I see someone who has less than me, and I thank God that I am not them.

This is not true gratitude. Real thankfulness, having a thankful heart, comes out of one's relation to God and not to others. The core recognition is: I need God, and God's love came down and rescued me. This kind of praying says:

  • God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
  • You have had mercy on me!
  • Thank you God.
True thankfulness is a function of an awareness of one's own neediness, and not that of others. It contains the realization that God has displayed, and is displaying, his mercy towards me. When you realize how in need of rescue you are, and rescue comes, you will feel thankful

At this point prayers of thanks can become passionate. One outcome of a God-directed thankful heart is the heart-desire to be used of God to rescue others, rather than looking at them and feeling good about your own abundance. 

There's no honor-shame hierarchy in the kingdom of God. We're all beggars in need of bread. Give thanks in the right direction, and for the right reasons. 

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Potato Chips and Thanksgiving

 

(From my book, Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God, Kindle Locations 3590-3612)

There was a man in our church named Floyd. Floyd died several years ago. It was my privilege to do his funeral. 

When I met with Floyd’s wife, Grace, she shared something I had never heard before. “Floyd,” she said, “was a thankful person who was always thanking God for what he had been given.” 

Floyd had not come from a wealthy family. As I heard about him and his thankful heart, it reminded me of my mother who, as a young girl, sometimes received only an orange for a Christmas present, and cherished and savored it, and was thankful. 

How deep did Floyd’s heart of thanks run? 

“Whenever we had snacks, like potato chips,” said Grace, “Floyd would stop, bow his head, and thank God as the bag of chips was passed to him.” 

“You’re kidding me, right?” I said. “Floyd would give thanks, in front of everyone, for potato chips?!!” 

“Yes. He was grateful to God for anything that came his way.” 

I thought: I’m not that thankful. I take too many things for granted. 

“For granted” - to expect someone, or something, to be always available to serve you in some way without thanks or recognition; to value someone, or something, too lightly. To “take something for granted” - to expect something to be available all the time, and forget that you have not earned it. 

A “for granted” attitude presumes. A “for granted” attitude has a sense of entitlement. Like: “I am entitled to these potato chips.”

“For granted” - to fail to appreciate the value of something. 

“Entitlement” - the belief that one is deserving of certain privileges. Like: “I deserve these potato chips.” 

Floyd, it seems, had no sense of entitlement, as if God owed him something. He didn’t take provision, in any form, for granted. From that framework, giving thanks logically follows. And, in yet another “great reversal,” God is deserving of, and entitled to, our praise and thanksgiving. God, for Floyd, was not some cosmic butler whose task was to wait on him, and make sure he was satisfied with the service. 

The apostle Paul instructed us to “always give thanks for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” “For everything” is all-inclusive. Nothing exists outside the realm of “for everything.” Everything is a gift from God, even my very life, even my eyes as I read this, and my breath as I inhale. If I gave thanks for everything, my gratitude would be unceasing. 

If I realized how God-dependent I actually am, I would stop now and say, “Thank you.” And then, in my next breath, I would say it again.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Prayer, Poverty, and Thanksgiving

A meal of rice and vegetables in Kenya

(I'm re-posting this for the Thanksgiving season.)

I embarrassed myself when I was in Kenya. 

I was leading a Pastor’s Conference in Eldoret, with sixty wonderful men and women from Kenya and Uganda. They were part of New Life Mission, a network of over 150 churches in Kenya and Uganda. 


We ate many meals together. This was real Kenyan food – vegetables, cooked raw bananas, rice, maize… I loved it!


I noticed many of the pastors taking very full plates of food. A lot more than I took. I made a joke, saying “Kenyans and Ugandans eat a lot, but still are slim and run so fast!” My host, Cliff, later told me the reason they load their plates with food is because they only eat two meals a day. When they have the opportunity, they eat a lot.


Inwardly I sank. Who am I, that I am so out of touch? 


The prayers of many Kenyans and Ugandans are for food to eat, today. I, on the other hand, fight overeating. My problem is not securing my next meal. It's that there is so much food available, and I approach our American Thanksgiving Day hoping I do not overeat.


I live the land of over-plenty, over-eating, and struggling to diet. In the midst of abundance, I am being processed by God. Here are some things God is showing me. 


1. I am no longer to see someone who is foodless and thank God that I have food. I am to thank God for food, for a roof over my head, for clothing. But this thanks is not to come at the expense of someone else’s poverty. There is something wrong about this. It uses another person’s bondage as an occasion for my thanksgiving. 


Jesus never looked on sick or hungry people and said, “Thank God that I am God and not like these sick people.” Instead, he had compassion on them. Actually, he became one of them, for “the Son of Man had no roof over his head.” 


My focus must be on my own need for God’s mercy, rather than giving thanks that I am not among the mercy-deprived. I am not to be like the Pharisee who prayed, “I thank you God that I am not like these other people.”


2. If this thought comes to me - "Thank God that I have more than these poor people"  - I must assume this is God calling me to help. Why would God show me someone poorer than I as a way to make me give thanks? Authentic thankfulness results in overflowing, sacrificial giving. To those who have much and thank God for it, much is expected. Thankfulness is hypocritical and meaningless if it does not overflow to others. Pure Pharisaic “thankfulness” thanks God that I am not poor; true thankfulness to God impacts the poor. Self-centered gratefulness is faux-gratitude.


3. At one of our recent worship gatherings God was speaking to  me about such things. It was a beautiful time of intentional thanksgiving to God for how he has blessed us as a church family. That day God told me, “John, when you see someone who has nothing, and then give thanks for what you have that they don’t have, that is the spirit of poverty on you.”


A spirit of poverty, a spirit of “lack,” whispers to me, “You do not have enough.” This heart of not-enough-ness, when it sees someone worse off than me, feels thankful. This is the spirit of poverty’s solution to my dilemma; viz., to keep me perpetually enslaved to a poverty mentality by comparing me with others. 


Some drive new cars and I feel deprived; some have no car and I feel thankful. A spirit of poverty is never satiated, and in this way it continuously punishes. 


Feeling thankful when I see someone who has no food comes from feeling I do not have enough. One thinks, “Whew, I’m not so bad off after all!” We only say words like that when we feel “bad off.” 


Real thanksgiving has nothing to do with any of this. I’ve been living under a spirit of poverty, and renounce it.


The Many Benefits of Thankfulness

(Grand Haven, Michigan)

Gratitude is greater than bitterness. Thankfulness is better than resentment. 

Colossians 3:15 says:

Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.

A heart of thankfulness positively affects one’s entire being. Some scientific studies confirm this. Here are some of them.

From “Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier” (Harvard Medical School)

  • “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.
  • Dr. Martin Seligman (University of Pennsylvania) says most studies on showing gratitude to others support an association between gratitude and an individual’s well-being.
  • Gratitude can improve relationships. “For example, a study of couples found that individuals who took time to express gratitude for their partner not only felt more positive toward the other person but also felt more comfortable expressing concerns about their relationship.
  • Gratitude is associated with emotional maturity.
  • “Gratitude is a way for people to appreciate what they have instead of always reaching for something new in the hopes it will make them happier, or thinking they can’t feel satisfied until every physical and material need is met. Gratitude helps people refocus on what they have instead of what they lack. And, although it may feel contrived at first, this mental state grows stronger with use and practice.”

Here are some ways to cultivate gratitude on a regular basis.
·        Write a thank-you note.
·        Thank someone mentally. (“It may help just to think about someone who has done something nice for you, and mentally thank the individual.”)
·        Keep a gratitude journal. I make lists of things I am thankful for and carry them with me.
·        Count your blessings.
·        Pray. “People who are religious can use prayer to cultivate gratitude.”


Research reveals that gratitude can have these benefits.

  • ·        Gratitude opens the door to more relationships.
  • ·        Gratitude improves physical health. “Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and they report feeling healthier than other people, according to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences.”
  • ·        Gratitude improves psychological health. “Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, ranging from envy and resentment to frustration and regret. Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., a leading gratitude researcher, has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and well-being. His research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.
  • ·        Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression. “Grateful people are more likely to behave in a prosocial manner, even when others behave less kind, according to a 2012 study by the University of Kentucky. Study participants who ranked higher on gratitude scales were less likely to retaliate against others, even when given negative feedback. They experienced more sensitivity and empathy toward other people and a decreased desire to seek revenge.”
  • ·        Grateful people sleep better. “Writing in a gratitude journal improves sleep, according to a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being. Spend just 15 minutes jotting down a few grateful sentiments before bed, and you may sleep better and longer." 
  • ·        Gratitude improves self-esteem.(Acc. to a 2014 study published in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology.)
  • ·        Gratitude increases mental strength. (Acc. to a 2006 study in Behavior Research and Therapy, and a 2003 study in the Journal of Personality and social Psychology.


From “Giving Thanks: The Benefits of Gratitude” (Psychology Today)
·        
Psychologists Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough “point out the benefits of expressing gratitude as ranging from better physical health to improved mental alertness. People who express gratitude also are more likely to offer emotional support to others.

·        “Expressing gratitude in your daily life might even have a protective effect on staving off certain forms of psychological disorders. In a review article published this past March (see below), researchers found that habitually focusing on and appreciating the positive aspects of life is related to a generally higher level of psychological well-being and a lower risk of certain forms of psychopathology.
·        Increase your gratitude-ability by looking for small things to be thankful for.
From “Expanding the Science and Practice of Gratitude” (University of Berkeley)

·        It’s easy to take gratitude for granted. “That might be why so many people have dismissed gratitude as simple, obvious, and unworthy of serious attention. But that’s starting to change. Recently scientists have begun to chart a course of research aimed at understanding gratitude and the circumstances in which it flourishes or diminishes.”
·        Recent studies on people who practice thankfulness consistently report a number of benefits:
·        Stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure;
·        Higher levels of positive emotions;
·        More joy, optimism, and happiness;
·        Acting with more generosity and compassion;
·        Feeling less lonely and isolated.

From “Thanksgiving, Gratitude, and Mental Health” (Psychiatry Advisor)
Gratitude can have a positive effect on a person’s emotions in four significant ways.

·        First, gratitude magnifies positive emotions by helping us to appreciate the value in something; thus gaining more benefit from it.  

·        Second, it blocks toxic, negative emotions, such as envy, resentment, and regret - emotions that can destroy happiness.  

·        Third, gratitude fosters resiliency.

·        And lastly, gratitude promotes self worth. 


·        
  • Gratitude is good for your heart. “According to a recent study at the University of California, San Diego, being mindful of the things you're thankful for each day actually lowers inflammation in the heart and improves rhythm. Researchers looked at a group of adults with existing heart issues and had some keep a gratitude journal. After just two months, they found that the grateful group actually showed improved heart health.”
  • ·        You’ll smarten up. “Teens who actively practiced an attitude of gratitude had higher GPAs than their ungrateful counterparts, says research published in the Journal of Happiness Studies.”
  • ·         It’s good for your relationships. “Expressing gratitude instead of frustration will do more than just smooth things over—it will actually help your emotional health. Expressing and attitude of gratitude raises levels of empathy and abolishes any desire to get even, found researchers at the University of Kentucky.”
  • ·        You’ll sleep more soundly. “ Writing in a gratitude journal before turning in will help you get a longer, deeper night's sleep, says a study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being.”

See also: