Gratefulness and Longevity
What could gratefulness and longevity have in common? It seems they travel together in the journey of life. In Fabufit, instead of worrying about the inevitableness of aging; we can go forward with health, fitness, and happiness if we chose to. One of the most important of the attitudes for the journey is that of determined gratefulness. Not one of us can afford to drift. Gratefulness is a choice. We might even call it a sacrifice.
Drag your thoughts away from your troubles…..by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it.” ~ Mark Twain
Thinking on Our Circumstances
Thinking on our circumstances, which can well be filled with trouble, will certainly drag us down. This steals our desire to practice gratefulness if we allow it to persist. Research is vividly showing that this is far more important than most of us realize.
What Does God Tell Us?
The bible talks a bunch about the importance of being grateful.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. Ps 100:4
Through Him, therefore, let us constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name. Hebrews 13:15
God gives us specific instructions on what thoughts to allow to prevail in our lives.
Think on These Things
Philippians 4:8 Amplified Bible (AMP) 8 Finally, [a]believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].
Investigation on Being Positive and Longevity
An investigation was done by Dr. Dan Tomesulo and Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology, on the relationship between being positive and longevity.
NOTE: Biblical positivity is far more than the world’s idea of being positive. Biblical teaching not only shows the importance of thinking good thoughts, but gives the believer the power and motivating energy to do so through our new life in Jesus Christ. (More to come on this thought in future posts).
There is a Direct Relationtion Being Positive and Longevity
The investigation referred to above showed the direct relationship between being positive and longevity. Researchers have gone back to the Nun Study of Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease, which was begun in 1986. This study was begun by David Snowden and has continued long after his retirement. This study focuses on a group of 678 American Roman Catholic sisters who are members of the School Sisters of Notre Dame.
More About the Nun Study
Researchers doing this study accessed the 60 year old records of these sisters, who were at the time 75 to 94 years old. What these researchers found about how positive feelings affect longevity was nothing short of astonishing. Among the archive documents reviewed were autobiographical essays that had been written by the nuns upon joining the sisterhood.
And what was found…………..
At age 85, 90 percent of the very most cheerful quartile were still alive. Only 34 percent of the bottom quartile survived. The numbers were even more affected by the age of 94 with 54 percent of the top quartile still alive and only 11 percent of their less optimistic counterparts.
More studies are now being done on how the positive life may create a natural immunization against the ravages of Alzheimer’s diseases.
Masters of Gratitude
This is good motivation for us all to become Masters of Gratitude. A master at anything is someone who practices and practices the subject. Many times gratefulness (thankfulness) is a sacrifice. Are there days when you just wish to murmur and complain? Me too, but we can’t. The consequences are too steep. Some days it is a minute-by-minute process of capturing those thoughts that will take us downhill. At those times, we want to immediately begin thinking on and speaking things good and pure and lovely and of a good report. Seems a bit impossible. However, God would never tell us to do this if it were not possible. With God nothing is ever impossible.
By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. Lk 1:37
Pastor Keith Craft says, “Personal greatness will never be revealed if GRATITUDE is always concealed. “
Keeping a daily Gratitude Score is one easy activity we can begin to develop the Gratefulness Lifestyle. In the next post, I will share another.
Are You Keeping a Gratitude (Gift) Score?
The Gift Score shown below allows you to grade yourself daily on the four gratitude characteristics in life. Becoming aware of these characteristics help you grow in gratitude. As Mary Kay Mueller has said, “It is the percentage of time that one is thinking positively versus negatively.” By scoring yourself, you will be able to see if your attitude and your feelings reflect an unforgiving, ungrateful and hopeless spirit. Does your life reflect trust in God?
The good news is we can consciously and continually raising our GIFT scores!
Gratitude is actually a law. To get the results you seek in life, it is absolutely necessary that we know about and observe this law.