My Pastor, Dr. Jack Trieber, has often reminded us that if we don’t THINK, we won’t THANK. As Christians, it is our habit to “give thanks” before a meal, and that is a good habit. But I know I am often guilty of forgetting to give thanks to God and others for little, everyday blessings. Learn to say “Thank you” for everything, whether in the form of a word of thanks, a smile, or a “Thank You” note for gifts and special deeds of kindness.
Let’s consider whom we should thank. The answer, of course, is anyone who shows thoughtfulness and kindness to us in some way. The first person we should daily give thanks to is our Lord. God has given us so many blessings that we take for granted—the country we live in, our families, homes, clothes, car, friends, church, pastor and pastor’s wife, and the opportunity to serve the Lord. Of course, the list could go on “forever.” Someone has asked, “What would we have left if we only had the things we thanked God for?” His blessings are innumerable, both spiritual and tangible. At Thanksgiving time, our pastor encourages us to list the things God has given us in that year for which we are thankful. I think it would be a good idea to have a running list of the blessings God bestows upon us each day, for “He daily loadeth us with benefits” Psalm 68:19.
Then, consider how others show kindnesses to us each day. It might be a gentleman (perhaps your husband) who opens the door for you or someone who serves a meal to you (perhaps your wife or a waiter or waitress at a restaurant). Show appreciation for even the smallest deeds—the mail carrier, the bank teller, the grocery store clerk, etc. Here at the church where I work, all of our staff men are very thoughtful of the ladies, not only in opening doors for us, but also in carrying heavy items, and so forth. A “Thank you,” and a smile go a long way in encouraging others and making us thankful people.
These are common, obvious opportunities to show our thanks, but consider people who serve you on a regular basis; for example, your pastor and pastor’s wife. As Christians, these are people God has chosen to lead us, to shepherd us in our Christian lives. I think we often take them for granted. Think of all they do in preparing messages and lessons, overseeing every aspect of the church’s operation, spending much time in prayer and Bible study, counseling with people on the phone and in person—sometimes into the late night hours—visiting the sick and comforting the dying. They are always there when we need them, and yet we often neglect to show our deep appreciation for all they do. Don’t forget that in addition to all of the responsibilities concerning the church, they are regular people with families and daily personal needs just like you and me. The Bible says in I Timothy 5:17 that they are worthy of double honor. I don’t think this only refers to financial compensation. I believe it means we should take every opportunity to show our love and appreciation to them and endeavor to meet their every material need. Of course, we should honor them for their birthdays and anniversaries and such occasions, but when they have an illness or family emergency, we should take every opportunity to show our love and appreciation to them, whether it’s a meal, a gift, a thank you note. Don’t miss an opportunity to be a blessing to them. If you think about the blessing they are to you, you will thank them in any way possible.
Others who serve us on a regular basis might be your boss at work or your supervisor, a school teacher, or the school principal. How about showing appreciation to your doctor or a nurse or someone who helps you with an online transaction? How about your Sunday school teacher, a soloist or special music group, the pianist or choir director? We will never run out of people and things to be thankful for. As Ephesians 5:20 says, “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Last of all, how can we show thanks? I’ve mentioned many already, but sometimes a smile and the words, “Thank You,” is all that is needed. Sometimes, a note of thanks is more appropriate. And sometimes we need to show our appreciation for someone by fulfilling a need. The bottom line is if you think about all the ways you have been blessed and helped and encouraged, you will show your thanks to those who are a blessing to you.
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
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Mrs. Carr was born and raised in San Francisco, where she was saved at the age of 11 at Calvary Baptist Church. She and her family have been members of North Valley Baptist Church since 1982. Mrs. Carr has worked in various ministries on the church staff since then. She is presently a typist for Pastor Trieber.