Being grateful requires an act of self denial. We must look away from our needs, to others, and that is challenging for some people. Saying Thank You is admitting that someone else did something that is noteworthy. Selfish people rarely say thank you.
But then again, many people have an awkward time expressing love and gratitude to people that are close to them. They can say “thanks” to a server they just met at Denney’s, but are clumsy at saying “I love you” to their spouse or children. This subject reminds me of a story about the couple that had been married 50 years. One night as they were watching the evening news the wife suddenly screamed at her husband, “You haven’t said ‘I love you’ since the day we were married!” Without blinking an eye he responded, “Yes, and I meant it, too. And if anything ever changes, I will let you know.”
Having served in ministry for years, we have attended many weddings, graduations, recitals, awards ceremonies, etc. Often we took a gift for the celebrated person. Sue was always very thoughtful in the gift selection, hoping that it would be useful and appreciated. Usually, we received a warm thank you note and we were grateful. On one occasion, we received a thank you note that simply said, “Thanks for whatever you gave me.” Nice.
In the Bible, there were many grateful people. In Exodus 15, the Children of Israel had just crossed the Red Sea to safety. They gave God a great song of gratitude for His protection. It was the Psalmist who wrote, “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise (Psalm 11).” The Apostle Paul admonished us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “In everything give thanks!” Paul also told us in Colossians 3:15, “By thankful!”
One of the more disappointing stories is in Luke 17. Jesus healed 10 lepers, but only one came back to say thank you. What’s up with that? Jesus had been so good to those guys, but they just went on their merry way like they deserved the healing. Very sad and so calloused. We can do better.
So Happy Thanksgiving to each of you. I am humbled that you read my blog, and pray that it will be a rich blessing to you. Have a great Thanksgiving celebration and remember, Christ deserves our highest praise!!