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Practising gratitude flips the switch from depression, anxiety and even suicide ideation (suicidal thoughts or ideas) as evidenced by recent research (Emmons, 2019). Studies show that being grateful or thankful by writing it down in a journal, by thanking someone face-to-face or writing a thank you card or by sending an online card, changes our brain structure. The feel-good hormones that are produced make the thankful person feel physically, emotionally, relationally, and psychologically better. Not a bad exchange for practising gratitude regularly!

I want to challenge you and me, to be grateful daily. Let me know by email or post a reply below and I’ll send you a gift of one of my books to say ‘thank you’ and ‘I’m grateful’!

Here’s how:

The angle I want you to take is pick one of the fruits of the spirit where you struggle. When we consider the fruit in Galatians 5:22-23: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, it’s hard for most of us to live our lives doing all these well—all the time. But my take on this is when we are grateful, particularly to our wonderful God, we are drawing nearer to Him (James 4:8) so that we rub shoulders with who He is. I believe we can’t help but become more fruitful in this process, so hopefully the fruit of the Spirit can become more evident in and through us.

I encourage you to join with me and others, for the month of March, to be grateful or thankful to God every day, targeting your problem fruit. Which one of the fruit do you struggle with? Self control? Peace? Patience? Write down your thankfulness for anything He is doing or has done in your life, particularly in that problem fruit area and pray often during your day and let’s see if there is a change (Christian psychologists suggest repeating positive encouragements 100 times daily for 3 weeks makes a new habit—I tend to agree if you also have an encouraging environment such as God and His Word).