How many times a day do you say, “Thank you,” I hope it would be a day and not a week or even longer. It is one of those rare words though, I am afraid, one that is not only given less frequently than it should be, but given only haphazardly, rarely with any real intent.
It is a word set that is used quite often around our house, not with pre-conceived notions, it was not set upon us by rule, it comes naturally, and it is meant each time it is said. Please and thank you used to be one of the first words taught to small children, many had different reasons behind this I am sure, but the intent whether they knew it or not was to teach humility at a very young age, the lesson that when someone does something for you, that deed should be recognized if even in the smallest way. Times have changed though, it can be seen as rude to hold the door for someone, to offer assistance when they have not asked for it, the lack of please and thank you’s has led to a self-centered society that does not look for ways to serve, but ways to find faults in others.
Thank you is in itself a way to show love, to express gratitude with no desire for payment, it is a way to let others that we know and meet understand that they are important to us, they have value and worth. And so the lack of these two small words reveals not only our callousness towards others, but does not allow the individual the knowledge that they are cared for, that their existence has meaning. When they are not spoken in due season, animosity creeps in, we begin to entertain thoughts of dislike, distrust, and not far behind that will come hate. Not on the first occurrence of course, these things take time to build.
My lovely wife read in our devotional this evening the account in Luke that our Lord gave to those in attendance about the good Samaritan, (10:29-37) and it added thoughts to what I was led to write tonight, did the Samaritan when he either left the man at the inn to be cared for or when he returned receive a “Thank you” from the man he assisted. One would hope so, that part in all of us that likes to believe man has the ability to be kind in certain situations would like to believe that he did, but the true question is this, did the Samaritan require these words. There is the crux of the question my friends, the reason for this letter to you today, do you need thank you’s? We should not, when they are given we reply in kind, but when they are not, we should not grieve, we should hold no ill will, we should think no less of that person. How do we know this, the Word of God is quite clear, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?” (Luke 17:17) How many were fed, how many were healed, how many were shown the wonders of God, and how many said thank you.
There is much praise for our Lord in both the Old and New Testament, and one could use these examples in some ways as our intentions to say thank you to the Lord, to glorify His name every opportunity we get, but that would then beg the next question. Can you in all honesty remember the last time you said thank you to God, just two simple words, but two words that can make all the difference in a person’s life. Does He need to hear them, of course not, but should we say them, and often, yes, yes we should. “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” (James 4:3) But when you do receive, do you remember to say these words, no matter what His will is.
“Yet not my will, but yours be done,” (Luke 22:42) and then say thank you, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) Thank you. “Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.” (Isaiah 49:16) Thank you. Not just when things happen to you that you believe are good, but when the trials and tribulations come upon us, no matter the circumstances, thank you. If you have not remembered to thank Him on a daily basis, and many times at that, do you believe you will remember to do so when He opens the gate of heaven and bids you to enter.
Such a simple little thing to say, but there is great power in words, especially when they convey gratefulness, when they express thankfulness and appreciation for others. Your character will be changed, in fact your heart will be changed when you express these two small words, they can teach you humility, they can assist you in learning to love your neighbor as yourself, (Mark 12:31) and they will bring you into a closer relationship with the Lord Jesus. Find a way to say them every day, you will see this to be the truth.
“O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever.” (Psalm 118:1)