Gratitude 101


Course curriculum: – not sure yet.
I know many other people likely have already been in this course for quite awhile and could clue me in, but I don't know who they are yet.


So – I need to simply apply my attention to the assignment presently put before me. Sometimes it changes from day to day or even several times a day. But my responsibility is to pay attention to the instructions and applications that are impressed upon me by the Holy Spirit, the primary tutor assigned to me.


This morning the assignment I feel I have received is to better understand and learn how to apply these issues revolving around gratitude and thankfulness. I am to perceive the underlying attitudes and choices that can create the atmosphere conducive to the flourishing of these fruits so I can learn how to accelerate the cycle of praise that can then become self-promoting and self-intensifying.


This think this part of my curriculum might be specifically designed as part of my healing protocol. The prerequisites for even being able to comprehend this part of the coursework has now been largely experienced and grasped enough so that now I am starting to feel capable by grace to have sufficient capacity to begin learning these lessons that others may have learned at a much younger age. But that is not my problem now. My focus is to pay attention to the lesson I am in here and now.


I sense strongly that this lesson is directly linked to the pervasive issue that I am becoming aware of more lately, the negative context that much of my mental and emotional 'receiving equipment' uses to process the incoming messages from around me. I am becoming more keenly aware of how often I instantly respond with a spirit of cynicism to many things and particularly certain people that can still trigger me effectively. The very presence of those triggers in me indicates that I am still in need of healing from more lies that lay buried underneath and fuel those triggers. Even as I write this I am feeling triggered by a conversation taking place in the room among people who are amping up an argument about religious trivia while ignoring the spirit that is consuming them and poisoning the atmosphere. This spirit of argument feels very irritating to me. But then, the very presence of that irritation is a clue that I am likely still infected with that very same spirit. I perceive that based on a fundamental principle of recognition that Paul lays out in the first few verses of Romans 2. That principle is sometimes stated as 'you spot it, you got it'.


What God seems to be wanting me to learn more thoroughly is in the lesson assignment He gave me soon after I woke up this morning. It has to do with a power inherent in gratitude, praise and thankfulness to deliberately displace negative thoughts and effects of the triggers still in place within me. Part of my healing is to disarm my triggers by exposing their roots and dispelling the underlying lies that fuel them. But it is just as important to clear my own internal atmosphere continually by engaging in intentional thoughts of gratitude and a focus on the good, the true and the uplifting.


Gratitude and praise invites the very presence of God into that place or mind. That place may be the internal rooms of my own mind; it may the the room in which I am sitting with people who are being filled with other spirits or it may be the atmosphere among the group of people I associate with on a regular basis or even a much wider application. But the common factor is my personal willingness to invite the power of the presence of heaven into my sphere of influence, wherever that may be at the moment, in order to counteract the spirit of darkness. I am familiar with the spirit of darkness in my life and its effects and some of the damage it has caused me. What I need is a far more intense acquaintance with the Spirit of light and its potential effects and fruits within my life.


A question arises in my study of this issue. How can gratitude and praise not just become a way of sidestepping real problems, a means of pushing aside reality checks, shoving things under the rug? Because of spiritual abuse in this area it has caused quite a bit of skepticism on the part of people concerned about the need to face problems squarely. I cannot believe that the way this has been abused is acceptable but at the same time I need to learn the true place of these most powerful tools. I cannot let the mistakes of others, particularly by some in leadership prevent me from utilizing this means of inviting the power of God into my own life and surroundings.


I am beginning to learn that a response of thanks is somehow a means of clinching in my own mind a transaction that takes place in receiving something of value for me. It seems like some technique whereby a contract is closed, a deal is made, an agreement is ratified somehow. When that gratitude is missing it may not mean that I cannot have any access to some gift or blessing I have received but it might mean that something very important is missing that makes that blessing fully accessible to me. Maybe thankfulness is similar to procuring an unlocking code needed for me to open extended capabilities in a software program downloaded for free off the internet.


Praise can be an extremely powerful weapon in the hands of my will to extinguish the negativity of the soul when the faults or mistakes of others is consuming my attention. Praise and intentional thankfulness does not need to ignore problems that are evident but can purify the atmosphere of the heart so that it becomes easier to perceive reality from heaven's perspective rather than my own selfish desires. Gratitude and thanksgiving may be the oil that becomes the desperately needed lubrication in my life to smooth relations with others and to allow freer access for God's Spirit to work through me to represent God to others more effectively.


These are a few of the things that I am sensing at the beginning of this lesson segment.

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