Imagine yourself holding a package of note cards. The cost per card is about thirty-five cents. With an attached postage stamp at 39 cents, the total cost is 74 cents. Not what I would call a big investment! These small cards, although inexpensive, are one of the most affirming things you can do to show your appreciation to someone who has taken time to express thoughtfulness toward you as a friend! Yes! You guessed right! These cards are “thank you” notes!
So often, we assume that our friends know our appreciation for their acts of kindness. Sadly many deeds go un-thanked. Some folks just don’t send (or expect) thank you cards. How sad to miss such a wonderful opportunity to bless others.
The Lord knocks on the door of our hearts to give us a little prompting.
He used Paul to remind us,
“In everything give thanks for this is God’s will in Christ concerning you.”
(1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Give thanks in everything?
Even when things aren’t silver lined?
We forget that when things in life are tough for us, others are also suffering — sometimes in worse ways than we ourselves are suffering. We get caught up in our agendas and personal struggles and see no one but ourselves. We become blind to the blessings in our lives focusing only on problems and difficulties.
When a friend brings by warm banana bread and says, “I was baking today and thought that I would share a loaf with you,” how often do we accept it with a quick, “thank you,” and then devour the treat, never to think of our friend’s thoughtfulness again? Out of sight out of mind. Maybe we could say it, “out of sight, out of thankfulness.”
Perhaps someone sends money to you in a time of need and wishes to stay unknown? Does this mean that they wish to remain un-thanked also? Sending thanks “through the grapevine” is not terribly difficult! Half the joy of giving is knowing that the item given was enjoyed by the person receiving it!
If God’s will for us is to “give thanks in everything,” He had a great reason for wanting us to act on this principle!
Our human nature is often very negative and self-centered. We look for the big things in life to be taken care of rather than being aware of how many important things have been given to us and provided for us. We complain about the color of our outdated kitchen counter tops, wishing for granite tile. We forget to be thankful for having a place where we can cook a hot meal! We complain about people touching our new carpet or messing up our house, forgetting to be thankful for the gift of friends with whom we can share the blessings God has given us!
Even in times of great sorrow and grief, there are things to be thankful for!
“What?” you ask?
How about the ability to cry? Without it we would never understand the joy of it’s opposite. Laughter! When we struggle, we usually find that it drives us to a place of re-prioritizing our way of living and eventually, we find ourselves very thankful for the crisis or event that caused us to get our lives back on track!
How often have you been given a gift or a word of encouragement by a friend or employee, but have taken for granted that your thankfulness was graciously expressed?
It shows a tremendous amount of character when we are willing to invest a few moments to send words of thanks.
The three words “I love you” can become shallow and empty. Often the statement “prove it” is the follow up reaction from the opposite party. I feel that the two words “thank you” can also be very “surfacy.” They are often just auto-programmed words that are “thrown out there” due to “expected” etiquette. Underneath, in our hearts, the reality of what we’ve received escapes us. Let’s not get so self-absorbed, that we forget to communicate genuine “thank yous” to those who have blessed us!
When we take the time to quiet ourselves and write out our feelings of gratitude, something truly wonderful happens! We get to “taste” the feeling of delight we had all over again! It also causes us to realize that the giver of the gift invested some of their valuable time and resources into our life! They “proved it - by their actions.”
I would like to encourage you to value those who have extended their friendship to you. Take time to sincerely express your thanks in written form. Friendships are deepened, relationships are strengthened, and the desire of God’s heart for our lives is fulfilled by our giving thanks...