As we celebrate Thanksgiving, many of us turn our hearts towards family and the many blessings we have received in our lives.
As we have witnessed the many tragedies, floods, hurricanes, uncontrolled fires, mass shootings, and political unrest, it makes us so grateful for what we already enjoy just because of what many of us take for granted.
Not only am I grateful for our country’s freedom, which we celebrated on Thanksgiving, but I also enjoy this holiday because I get to show my loved ones how much I appreciate them through what I can create.
At Thanksgiving at our house, there are culinary traditions, special music, football games, “grateful” questions asked during our meal, and ways that we decorate the table that bring our family closer together.
The Power of Gratefulness
Researchers in health and psychology sectors agree that gratefulness has benefits both for our social and physical wellbeing.
They have concluded that people who are grateful have better social relationships, do better in school, have a more positive attitude, live longer, and are able to handle hard situations easier than those who are not thankful.
I would like to propose that gratefulness also is a catalyst for our creativity, and is a huge determinant for our success in moving forward in our creative destiny.
God’s Thoughts on Thankfulness
The Apostle Paul not only encourages, but commands us to
“Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.”
I Thess. 5:18 TMT
Creatives are called to live in thanksgiving, and practice thankfulness all of the time, not just when we’re feeling it.
The more thankful we become, the more wellbeing we will experience in our spiritual, mental, social, relational, physical, and creative spheres of our lives.
Thankfulness Protects Us From The Curse Of Comparison
As we create, many of us have come from educational and social environments where our creativity was constantly under scrutiny, and judged as valuable in comparison to other’s creative expressions.
Our secret weapon to combat this stunting spirit is to create a thankful heart no matter how others view our creative endeavors.
One strategy in over coming comparison is to compliment others when they gain more favor and have greater success than us.
Having a grateful heart, in which we celebrate other’s creativity, moves us out of comparison, by honoring them, as we applaud their hard work and creative genius.
When we are able to celebrate other’s success without comparison, we are free to create according to the uniqueness that God has blessed us with.
Thankfulness Is Released Through Our Creativity
I remember when I worked with the young teenage girls who had been rescued from the sex slave industry, and I had them tell their traumatic stories through painting.
As each one shared, they began to forgive those that had hurt them, and began to walk through forgiveness.
After they were done, they told us that they also wanted to rescue others who were caught in the sex slave trade because they were so grateful that they had been set free.
These girls had never drawn before nor had they been able to tell their stories, but creativity allowed them to experience the healing power of God, which gave them reason to thank God for the spiritual and emotional freedom that came to them.
As we are grateful for our gifts, opportunities, training, and God’s redemption and restoration in our lives, we, too, can creatively help others be set free through our journey.
Our creativity is our thankful offering for all that God has given us.
Gratefulness Opens Doors for Influence
As I have trained up students in creativity, I have watched how those who are thankful become the influencers that are given the most opportunities because their heart is not for self- promotion, but to simply bless others.
Gratefulness has kept their heart from becoming conceited or arrogant.
Colossians 3:17 says, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
As we create with a grateful heart, others will want to work with us and we will be naturally promoted because we are creating from a spirit of generosity and gratefulness for every opportunity (Luke 6:38).
I want to encourage you to live every day recognizing all of the good things that God has done for you, in you, and through you. Let your creativity be expressed in the thankfulness you have in God’s goodness.
- Thanksgiving has benefits for us in every area of our life, and affects our success, as we grow in our creative potential.
- God’s heart is for us to be perpetually thankful, so that everything goes well with us, so that our creativity can flourish.
- Gratefulness protects us from envy, comparison, and strife, and leads to wellbeing.
- When we create from a thankful heart, we will see an increase of favor and influence with God and man.
People who live in a constant state of thankfulness are magnets of favor, where their minds have learned to rest on God’s faithfulness and where their imagination is unburdened from worry, so that new creative ideas can germinate and grow.
Take some time today, and let thankfulness into your circumstances, dreams, and desires to create!