It matters to you, the people around you, and God. Max Lucado says that God “wants not only your whole heart; he wants your heart whole.”
But mental health doesn’t get talked about very much. There’s a lot of misunderstanding. Maybe it’s because some people think that wounds you can see are more important than wounds you can’t see.
But just because it’s hard to see something that doesn’t mean we should close our eyes.
The reason I bring this up is because intentionally cultivating gratitude can actually benefit your mental health. Studies say that gratitude improves psychological health, enhances empathy and reduces aggression, and improves self-esteem.
And from a faith perspective, gratitude grounds you in the good God has done, is doing and will do. When you deliberately reflect on the good that God has done in your past, you’re reminded of the good God is doing in your present, and also the good he will do in your future too. He is consistent: the same yesterday, today and forever. Therefore, his presence and guidance endures through all your ups and downs.
Psalm 136 recounts all the ways God has been faithful to his people. And after every line it says: “His love endures forever.” Not “endured” (past tense), but endures (continuous).
Cultivating intentional gratitude won’t make all of your troubles go away. But it is a piece of the puzzle that will improve your mental well-being. Gratitude grounds you in the good God has done, is doing, and will do.
God wants not only your whole heart; he wants your heart whole.
By Matthew Ruttan
- Today’s “Up!” is based on my Sunday podcast called “Mental Health and the Role of Gratitude.” You can listen in to the 25-minute message here. Enjoy!
- Bible verses are from the New International Version (NIV).