Think, then thank!
by Mervyn Morelock, Lt. Colonel –
to Your Name O Most High” (Psalm 92:1).
What character trait most clearly reveals a person’s moral and spiritual health? Is it love? Is it integrity? Is it kindness, cheerfulness, or trust? Opinions differ, to be sure.
Otto Fredrich Bollnow, in his essay Who Really Gives Thanks? said, “There is hardly another quality of man that is so suited to reveal the state of his inner spiritual and moral health as his capacity to be grateful.”
Even though we may not completely agree with him, Bollnow’s opinion is thought provoking. After all, Scripture emphasizes the importance of praising God for his goodness and mercy. Many of the Psalms are the outpouring of thankful hearts. For example: “Let the people praise You, O God; let all the people praise you” (Psalm 100:4). And the apostle Paul urged his fellow Christians to “give thanks always for all things to God the Father, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20).
In light of this, take some time to recall Lord’s pardon, his constant protection, his faithful provision and his abiding presence. Remembering to be grateful will help you to say in good spiritual health and will bring honor to him. So think—then thank!
Can you think of someone who needs encouragement, thanks, or a reminder that you are praying for him or her? In our busy life it is easy to forget to say thank you. And the longer we take to say thank you, the more difficult it is to say it! Sometimes we are embarrassed by receiving a note of thanks for the little things we have done, and then we’re reminded that we have neglected to express our thanks for a favor done for us!
Someone has written:
Or a word that was prayerfully spoken,
Yet not in vain, for it soothed the pain
Of a heart that was nearly broken.
Little acts of kindness can have amazing results. One of our graduate employees at an ARC was stricken with cancer of the throat. The officers and staff were supportive over the surgeries and recovery time. But it was really no “big deal” for most of us who expressed interest and care for him through his recovery.
Some months later, the following handwritten note was delivered to the staff and beneficiaries:
To: Everyone here at this ARC. I just wanted to say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for all the love and support that has been given to me on a daily basis since I became aware of my illness. Without you, my family, my support system, I could not have faced this ordeal alone. I know God is in my life. He brought each and every one of you, man and woman, whether a beneficiary, staff member or employee, into my life when I had no one. You took me under your wings and have shown me nothing less than unconditional love and caring.
Thank you, Jesus, for these miracles in my life. Terry
As we celebrate and observe Thanksgiving this year, let us all think about the people and things we have to be thankful for. And then sit down and make a call or send a note to say “Thank you.”
If you were asked to list the things you are thankful for, what would you include? Perhaps your family, health, friends, church—and those wouldn’t be wrong. We should be grateful for every gift God gives us.
But the greatest gift of all is the gift of God’s Son, who endured the penalty we deserved for our sin, so we could be reconciled to a holy God. Never take that gift for granted? “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15).