7Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. 8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. 9 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.
Galatians 6:7-9 NLT
I wish it could be said that when we make decisions to change our lives, the consequences of our past don’t continue to exist in our present. Many times, we continue to reap the harvest of the seeds that we planted as a result of past mistakes and bad decisions. Where we planted deception and indecision we reap insecurity and doubt from those closest to us. Where we planted untrustworthiness, we reap questioning and unbelief. Where we planted ingratitude and dishonesty we reap cautious expectation.
Part of the redemptive journey is taking full responsibility for these seeds and the resulting harvest. As difficult as it may seem however, every season has a finite length and our focus should be to persevere through it by God’s grace. Our other focus should be to plant seeds of accountability, transparency, pure thought, fidelity, responsibility and gratitude.
Gratitude has the shortest term of them all. Its fruit are almost immediate in effect. Those fruit are contentment, hope, joy, freedom from anxiety, grace, acceptance, patience and understanding among others. One of my grandmother’s favorite expressions was “Praise the Lord, Thank you Jesus!” I cannot recall any specific event that would result in her utterance of this expression. For her, it was automatic. As an adult I have also incorporated it into my lexicon as an automatic refrain at various points during the day. I have practiced it so often that it emanates with little effort. I did this because early in my Christian walk, I recognized how difficult being grateful can be. I have shortened it to PTLTYJ. I invite you to replicate this habit. Write it in your daily planner. Place a post-it note on your monitor or on your bathroom mirror. Let it become the first thing that comes out of your mouth, when you awake. If you journal, write it at the beginning of your reflection. If you keep a workout journal, write it after you have recorded your sets/reps. Incorporate it into your prayer time.
For many of us, planting seeds of gratitude is not something that comes naturally. I invite you to do as my grandmother did and create a gratitude habit that circumvents the natural tendency to overlook blessings. Share your resolve to change and your new habit with others who care about you.