Message from the Chaplain

The Many Benefits Of Gratitude

Hi All,

It’s amazing that it’s nearing the end of term. Here is something for you to think about on the holidays.

Below is some encouragement for parents about the benefits of gratitude. Have a read and I’m sure that if we as parents put this in place then we will experience a positive difference.
Matthew Henry, a well-known 18th-century Puritan preacher, was threatened by robbers in the city of London. They took his possessions and endangered his life. It’s safe to say that was not one of Mr Henry’s best days!

And yet, this is what he wrote:

Let me be thankful, first, because I was never robbed before; second, because although they took my purse, they did not take my life; third, because though they took my all, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.

Matthew Henry knew how to show gratitude. How about you? Consider these four proven benefits of gratitude:

• Gratitude can strengthen your spiritual life. The apostle Paul was in prison when he wrote the letter to the Philippians. Roman jails weren’t exactly known for their luxurious accommodations. Hear him, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). Paul wasn’t defeated in spirit, rather he was abundantly thankful!

• Gratitude can improve your mental and emotional health. In Philippians 4:8 Paul encourages, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.” Paul knows that when we give thanks, it is a way of living in the presence of God, and it impacts what we focus on. Robert Emmons, a leading gratitude researcher, has proven in his studies that gratitude reduces depression. I highly recommend his book 'Thanks! How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier' (Mariner Books, 2008). He notes how gratitude and living in the presence of God diminishes a number of toxic emotions, from anger to jealousy to resentment. David knew times of great loss and grief, and yet he affirmed, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name” (Psalm 100:3).

• Gratitude can expand your social awareness and service for others. The Journal of Psychological Science (Vol. 17, Number 4, 2006) testified that those who showed more gratitude were also more likely to help others. The authors, Monica Y. Bartlett and David DeSteno, reported that “pro-social” behaviours are linked to greater happiness. Their research concluded that empathy increases when people are thankful. Further, their work asserts that gratitude motivates people to express sensitivity and concern for others.

• Finally, gratitude can improve your physical health. The research on gratitude reports that practitioners experience better sleep and less stress. It reduces headaches, sore muscles, stomach pain, and boosts your autoimmune system. Research also shows that those who practice gratitude exercise more regularly, report less illness, and generally feel healthier.

Wow! This is good stuff.

Have a go and have a wonderful and safe holiday with your treasured children.

Gary Crole

Christian College Bellarine


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