Grateful Hearts

By Joey and Carla Link
November 17, 2021

In today’s culture, thankfulness has gone out the window with other courtesies. “It’s all about me” is the mantra of most you meet. The current fad in our culture is to find yourself and to take care of yourself. While we certainly should take care of ourselves society is taking self-pampering to the extreme. 

What’s wrong with this? When you are thinking of yourself first, you live a self-focused mindfulness that thinks you deserve everything that catches your eye. 

It’s all about God” is supposed to be the mantra of Christians. We are supposed to live a God-focused mindfulness. When was the last time you actually stopped in the middle of the day and thanked God for something? Don’t assume anything is by chance or luck. Assume everything is by God. Your kids will never learn this until they see it in you.

We are focusing on temperaments for a while in celebration of the publication of our new 4-part video series and book “How Temperaments Impact You, Your Spouse and Your Kids”. There are two temperaments that struggle with being grateful or appreciating what they have been given. The Melancholy temperament is the most self-focused temperament. They run everything through how they feel about things and those feelings are based on “me”. 

I remember the time we invited a family that had just moved to our town to church and over to our house for lunch. I later commented to our Melancholy daughter that it seemed she and this family’s daughter, who was her age seemed to get along well. She shrugged and said the girl was only nice to her because there was no one else around for her to spend time with. When I asked her what she was basing that on, she told me she could tell it in the way she looked at her. Instead of looking to make a new friend, our self-focused Melancholy daughter was sure this girl, once she got to know other kids would leave our daughter high and dry. Ah, the self-focused Melancholy.

The Choleric temperament is arrogant and prideful, which is all about “me” as well. They think they are the smartest, most talented person in any room at any time. It is hard to be grateful when you think you deserve everything you get and what everyone else has too.

We had been to Nashville on a ministry trip and had spent some time with a friend who was an executive in the music industry. He gave our teenage Choleric son a box of CDs by contemporary Christian artists that hadn’t been released yet as a gift. Our son looked through them, quickly pulled one out and popped it into his CD player. I asked him for the box so I could look through the CDs and when I knew he had gotten through the one in his player one time, I asked to see it too. I told him when he remembered his manners he could have the CDs back. It took almost the entire day before he asked if we could stop and get a thank you card to send to this friend of ours. When it was in the mail, he got the CDs back.

The best way to cultivate grateful hearts is by giving to others. Do you have an older couple in your neighborhood? If not and your parents live in town, ask them for the name of a widow/widower they know. Make cookies with your kids and take them to these people. After dinner one night this week, brainstorm as a family ways you can look to show others you appreciate and are grateful for the influence they have in your family’s life.

 “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”I Thessalonians 5:18