How to SPOT and STOP Toxic Gratitude

Trevor Lund
4 min readNov 22, 2023

As someone who has been accused of prompting toxic gratitude, I know I should let you know how to spot and stop it in your own life. You don’t need to worry about toxic gratitude if you know how to give thanks with your whole heart.

Trevor Lund is the founder of Live LIGHT Academy at https://livelight.ca and the Content Creator at https://revtrev.com Check out https://revtrev.com/tv for past videos and live casts and https://revtrev.com/radio to subscribe to his podcast wherever you listen.

Toxic Gratitude

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Intro…

As someone who has been accused of prompting toxic gratitude, I know I should let you know how to spot and stop it in your own life. You don’t need to worry about toxic gratitude if you know how to give thanks with your whole heart.

What is toxic gratitude?

That’s a great question, I’m so glad you asked. I get accused of promoting it.

I’m Trevor Lund, content creator for RevTrev.com and the founder of Live LIGHT Academy on LiveLIGHT.ca This is the Live LIGHT LIVECast.

{Intro}

I get accused of promoting toxic gratitude and toxic positivity.

And while I agree that both of them do exist, I don’t agree I promote them.

They exist because I’ve seen them.

I see them in church circles, where we ignore our pain with platitudes and we don’t make use of the powerful laments available to us.

I’ve seen where that out-of-context Scripture verse is given priority over our reality.

I’ve seen…and I’ve said, “I AM trusting God” but then I worry about this and that or I’m concerned about whatever or I’m worried that I’m concerned because I know when I trust God I should have His peace.

That’s cognitive dissonance — saying I believe something, but not feeling like I really believe it.

How do you spot and and how do you stop toxic gratitude

What is toxic gratitude?

Toxic gratitude forces people to breeze past their pain in search of a silver lining, whether or not one exists.

We are called to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. It’s not about slapping some silly smile on your face and pretending nothing is wrong when it is really wrong.

I will not give God credit for the works of the one who comes to kill steal and destroy. I will treat all hardship as discipline knowing He is a good Father and that He is working all things together for good. I will agree to cast my cares on Him because He cares for me. I will never forget the God of all hope fills me with peace and joy as I trust in Him, so I can overflow with hope by the power of Holy Spirit. I will worry about nothing, pray about everything and thank Him in all things because it is His will for me.

Toxic gratitude happens when we don’t give thanks with our whole heart.

We are told to give thanks with our whole heart.

I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart. Psalm 9:1

What does that look like when we are facing bad news or a brutal reality? It’s got to mean more than slapping on a smile and having a toxic fake-it-til-you-make-it attitude. Here’s what it means to me.

I can give thanks with my whole heart:

I can choose to give thanks.

I can show appreciation.

I can feel grateful.

Those are the 3 parts of our heart :

- the seat of our decision — I can choose to give thanks

- The seat of our actions — I can show appreciation.

- The seat of our emotions — I can FEEL grateful.

And the amazing thing is that any one — the decision or the action or the emotion — can lead to the other two.

I can FEEL grateful in a moment and when I feel grateful I can remember to thank God and worship him. I need to do that to give thanks with my whole heart.

Giving thanks with your whole heart is how you stop toxic gratitude.

It eliminates cognitive dissonance.

I can feel grateful and respond, or I can choose to give thanks, then show appreciation and then feel grateful.

OR I can show someone appreciation, feel grateful and then remember to give thanks.

A great example of this is when I show appreciation to God. When worship God for who is he is, I remember to enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise and I feel grateful when I worship God because I see him more clearly for who he is.

I have several tools to help you grow in gratitude, because it is a game changer. Today, check out the Live LIGHT Gratitude Journal. It’s designed to help you give thanks with your whole heart. You can download the PDF or get the Perfect bound print version by going to https://revtrev.link/gratitude

And yes, I’m back. The plan is to do live casts and podcasts on Wednesday and the Live LIGHT LOOP on Fridays.

toxic gratitude

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Trevor Lund

I help you to not conform but be transformed so you can have peace at all times and in every situation