Just Say Thank You!

Chuck Bartlett

As a young man many years ago, I was given a needed rebuke by a sister in the Lord. When someone did something for me, I would say things like, “Oh, you didn’t have to do that!” Or, I would try and be funny and state, “What is this? And look, I don’t have anything for you!” Although I did appreciate what was done for me, I did not know how to express it properly. Then the sister in the Lord corrected me – “Just say thank you!”

People do like to do things for others (Gal. 6:10). We understand that it is more blessed to give than receive (Acts 20:35). Is it wrong for people to expect me to say thank you? Not at all. After all, I do not want to come across as ungrateful even though I inwardly feel very grateful. It is easy to overlook what is required outwardly when we are okay inwardly. However, as our Lord has taught, our attitude will show outwardly when it is first right inwardly (Matt. 23:25-27).

As a preacher, I am well aware of Paul’s example in being thankful for churches that support the preaching of the gospel. In Philippians 1:3, the apostle told the brethren that He thanked God for every remembrance of them. He also pointed out his appreciation by mentioning how they helped him financially time and again (Phil. 4:15-16). Did Paul need to do this? Yes. It was the right thing to do and showed that Paul did not take their kindness for granted.

Jesus taught this principle when He healed the ten lepers in Luke 17:11-19. Jesus did not “need” the praise per se so much as those who were healed needed to be thankful. People are pleased when they hear a “thank you”, but keep in mind what it prevents. You do not want to make light of what was done or indicate that you someone “deserved” it.

Think about our relationship with the Lord. Why pray when He already knows what we will say? Why praise Him when He already knows how we feel? Let’s not take our God or our fellow man for granted. Remember – in everything give thanks (I Thess. 5:18).

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