Nurturing an Attitude of Gratitude

What are you grateful for? The quick, typical answers probably are the first to come to mind. We are grateful to God for our salvation, homes, family, friends, church, job, country, and the list could go on. But, have you ever stopped and really thanked God for your body? Are you grateful for the body God has crafted especially for you to live in? Gratitude for your physical body and all its strengths, weaknesses, and uniqueness is the beginning of a positive attitude about yourself. With a positive attitude about yourself you are more likely to make wise health choices.

We are bombarded daily with words and images that depict the “perfect” body. Recent articles in several health and women’s magazines even tout the “perfect body parts” of famous females and show the reader how to get these “perfect” parts. This pieced together woman doesn’t even exist yet some strive to be that person. These unrealistic images and ideas coupled with a history of hurtful words from those closest to you regarding your appearance has led to a distorted view of the body God gave you, a negative attitude about your body and a lack of gratitude for your own uniqueness.

Given these circumstances, how do you begin to change your attitude about yourself and become more grateful for the person God created you to be? It begins with a shift in attitude. Think about it: the difference between a negative (-) and a positive (+) is a vertical line. To begin the change in attitude we must shift our eyes and thoughts from the information and people around us (a side to side view that is often distorted and false) and turn our thoughts vertically (heavenward) to how God really sees us.

Take a moment to read Psalm 139. This is a powerful passage that describes the depth that God loves and cares for you. He took pain-staking measures to “weave” you together exactly as He wanted you to be. Your appearance, height, body type, strengths, talents, gifts, and everything about you was hand designed by the Master Creator. You are His work of art. This is true of every person God made. There is nothing you can do to be “like someone else.” It’s impossible!

This one simple truth of your unique creation makes you incredibly special to God. He created all types of people and none is better or worse than the other. Allow this truth to settle in your heart and express your gratitude to God for the physical person that you are. If you struggle with thoughts condemning your body, allow God to change these thoughts. God already knows what you think of yourself. He knows if your thoughts are true or not. He knows if you think too highly or too lowly of yourself. Expressing these concerns to Him will help you acknowledge exactly where you are and will allow God to begin the work of reshaping your thinking.

Developing a grateful attitude about your body will dramatically alter how you choose to care for yourself. When you are grateful for the body you have you will wisely care for it.

Branda Polk, B.S. Exercise Science, is a certified personal trainer, wellness coach, conference speaker and health writer in Lebanon, Tennessee.

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