It seems so typical and natural for one to say that after a door has been opened, a deed accomplished, help given, and for any number of reasons, it is an entirely appropriate response to the above-listed things. I’m required to thank my clients after they speak to us, even if they are angry after the call. It is common courtesy.
I find it interesting that as Christians we are probably the least likely people to show gratitude. We grumble about the choice of cereal we have on Sunday morning, we complain about the slow person in our lane on the way to church, we mutter about the lack of cappuccino at our coffee fellowship, we roll our eyes when we are singing a song that doesn’t agree with our theology, we sigh (sometimes outwardly) when the pastor makes his fourth point… during his first point.
As Christians, what are we doing when we don’t show gratitude?
Paul, in his final exhortation to the Thessalonians in his first letter, says to them:
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (I Thessalonians 5:16-18, NIV)
The spirit of gratitude that we should have is not a suggestion, or a begging request. It is a command to believers, and it behooves us to obey.
You would think that it would be easy for Christians to obey. After reading great passages of the sacrifice of our Savior and all that he has done for us, you would think that we would just stroll around with big smiles on our face. How quickly we forget what we have been given! We are concerned with our next job, our next meeting, who we are going to marry and so on and so on, and we lose sight of what we have, and why we should have a true spirit of gratitude.
May God use us to be true examples of gratitude to others, and may we mean it when we say thanks!
Thou who hast given so much to me, give me one more thing - a grateful heart!
- George Herbert
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