I recently heard a speaker explain that, according to studies, the most underdeveloped attribute in humans is gratitude. Because we have not developed gratitude in our lives, we fail to discern all that is good in our life. If we fail to focus on the good, then we give in to the tendency to focus attention on problems. Having focused on our problems, we are even less able to see the things for which we should be thankful. Losing the ability to see that which we should be thankful, our problems consume an even greater portion of our thoughts, until we can only see our problems and sink lower and lower.
All of us have problems in our lives along side things for which we can be thankful. Rather than giving energy to our problems, we can choose to draw energy by deciding to be thankful for that which is good in our lives. It boils down to developing a discipline regarding what we will choose to think about. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul put it this way, “Finally, brothers, whatever is pure, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8 ESV)