Thanksgiving! This holiday of gratitude is celebrated in various ways at different times of the year, depending on your country and culture. When is your Thanksgiving? How do you celebrate? If you had a Gratitude Scale that could measure how thankful you are, on a scale of 1 – 10, where do you fall?
A Gratitude Scale is a super simple tool that helps you get in touch with your own level of gratitude. In other words, it helps you measure how thankful you are. The scale ranges from 1 to 10 where 1 represents “not very grateful” and 10 represents “very grateful.”
Of course, by nature of how you use it, the Gratitude Scale is very subjective. That’s because it’s a “self-evaluating” and “self-reporting” tool. However, it helps you ask yourself questions. If you answer with honest, sincere responses, you can get a good read on where you land in gratitude.
With the Gratitude Scale, you can even develop your own questions, if you wish. It’s critical to ask relevant questions that identify and reveal your level of thankfulness at the roots of your life. Be hard on yourself in the right way as you form and then answer questions. Here are some great questions you can use.
- How grateful am I each day in all my circumstances?
- Do I display and communicate gratitude as I interact with others, do my work, enjoy down-time, speak my mind?
- How do I respond when issues and problems hit? Do these intrusions affect my thankfulness? If so, why?
- Am I aware that an exceeding number of blessings co-exist alongside my troubles?
- Do I ever take the time to list my blessings in one of my organization tools (a journal, on my device, in a planner)?
- Do I regularly thank God for all the good things in my life?
- Have I remembered Jesus is my greatest blessing? He gives me the cross, forgiveness, new beginnings, eternal life, hope, perspective, power, value. (wow – that’s a lot right there!)
- What is keeping me from being thankful?
- Am I bitter?
- Is my heart so wounded or broken that I’ve lost sight of blessings around me?
- Do I serve “self” more consistently than I serve the living God? (Reality Check: I was created by and for God, not for myself.)
- Have I forgotten I am “bought at a price” and owe it to God to honor Him with my body and life? (1 Cor. 6:20)
- What kinds of practical things could I do each day to increase my level of gratitude?
- List specific things I need to step away from – habits, patterns, expectations, etc. – that hinder a thankful heart.
Now take all your answers from those questions. Study them. What do they tell you – about you? There are likely some action steps you can pull out. As you pray over your answers in sincere honesty, you are ready for the final 3 questions.
Final 3 questions:
- Where do I place myself right now on the Gratitude Scale?
- What score would I like to have in the near future?
- What score would God give me on His Gratitude Scale?
So! Now that you know what a Gratitude Scale is, after seeing the kinds of questions you should ask yourself, and answering as truthfully as you know how – what score did you give yourself? Where did you rate your level of gratitude? Does your score depend on your mood? Your circumstances? Health? Level of fatigue or frustration? Other people in your life?
Does your score agree with God’s score for you?
Remember: If you skew your answers, your score will be skewed. But if you prayerfully search your soul and answer honestly, your score will be a good indicator of your level of thankfulness.
You Can Change Your Score
By practicing two things, you will pass two important tests and push your score closer to a 10. That’s right. This is great news. In other words, you have a lot of control over your level of thankfulness. And you are the only one who can decide if you will live your life in gratitude back to God. Whatever you decide – to be more grateful . . . or not-so-much – you influence people around you. So make your decision pensively and soberly.
Before we identify the two things you can do to get closer to a 10, I want to tell you about someone who scored really high on the Gratitude Scale. Here’s the story.
Luke 17 tells the story of ten lepers Jesus healed. Lepers were outcasts. Not included. Pushed away from the community they once were a critical member of (perhaps even a professional contributor to). They had to live away from the safety, provisions, fellowship, and atmosphere of families and neighborhoods. They were the “untouchables.” People passed on the other side to avoid contact.
No human contact! Think about that. What a deprivation. A grievous suffering. A biting price to pay for something that is out of your control. This ostracization and shunning is a terrible thing to condemn a person to. It is as bad, if not worse, than the leprosy, itself.
When Jesus came through town, He had a different approach. He completely understood the disease and how to correct it. But He also knew about a leper’s starved heart, aching soul, and mind that craved conversation and stimulation. He knew the isolation and rejection. And being the Creator of all human hearts, He knew the temptation to question one’s value under such a judgement.
Jesus was in the habit of getting right up close to lepers. Smiling at them. Welcoming them to be near Him. He touched them. Lovingly. Kindly. Warmly. And they felt His love in their aching flesh. They felt His esteem for their lonely hearts. His sincere interaction stimulated their minds. And His intimate contact and care ministered to their need to belong again.
Jesus was in the habit of speaking to people that had been pushed aside, judged, mistreated, disavowed. He spoke to these ten lepers. For the first time in years, they felt respected.
Jesus was in the habit of using truthful, simple words that brought huge results. Powerful words like, “Be clean.” “Go show yourselves to the priests so they can welcome you back into the community.” “Believe in Me.” “Come.”
Two Things To Practice For A Score Closer To 10
There are two tests in this story. Ten lepers passed the first test. But only one passed the second test. Here’s how.
The First Test – Ten men decided it was worth the risk of trusting Jesus when He told them to show themselves to the priests. You see, Jesus had not yet healed them when He told them to do this. The men were healed on the way. They had to exercise faith in Jesus first by starting out on their way before they would notice any healing. Ten men passed the “Faith Test.”
The Second Test – One of the men who noticed he was healed as he was on his way, was so filled with thanksgiving that he did something the other nine did not. Gratitude must have been something he practiced in his spirit, despite his terrible disease and grievous conditions. It flowed immediately from his heart. It came out freely. In fact, gratitude changed his direction. It put him on a different, better path.
As he became aware of his blessing of healing, he promptly turned around and went back. His need to express thanks to Jesus overcame his own agenda. He put everything on hold just to pause and thank Jesus! Only one man passed the “Gratitude Test.”
The only way to pass the tests of life is to practice these two qualities ahead of time. That means commit to practice faith and gratitude.
Very few people pass the “Faith Test” these days. Even fewer pass the “Gratitude Test.” If you choose to exercise faith and gratitude, you will get closer to a 10 on the Gratitude Scale every time!
Did you know you leak? Whatever you spend time practicing (habits, patterns, moods, character) leaks out of your life. As it leaks out, you expose what is inside you. Why not let faith and gratitude give you away? The same is true if you do not have gratitude. Bitter, angry, prideful, spiteful qualities also leak.
What have you been leaking this Thanksgiving season? Would others identify a leak of faith and gratitude? Do you pass these two tests?
Application Questions are in the section, “Questions To Use For The Gratitude Scale.”
Below are additional Scriptures for your exploration of gratitude:
- Overflowing thankfulness. Be watchful and thankful. (Col. 2:7; 3:15; 4:2)
- Thankful with accurate perspective. (Heb. 12:28)
- Give thanks in all circumstances. It’s God’s will for you. (1 Thess. 5:18)
- Trust Jesus with all your heart. Don’t trust yourself. (Prov. 3:5-6)
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