Express Your Gratitude
I thank my God every time I remember you.
At the beginning of this new year, I have decided to start a habit of thanking people regularly. As a Christian, I have been taught to have a grateful heart and to thank God regularly and I do that through my prayers, through my deeds and through my giving. However, I am still not too good with the practice of thanking the people whom God has placed in my life. Very often, I would assume that my family members and friends should know that I love them through my actions. In the actual case, this may not be so.
The practice of praising and thanking God regularly is good for our soul as it helps to remind us to be grateful and to give honour where honour is due. In quite the same way, the practice of praising and thanking others regularly helps us love and appreciate our family and friends more and it is also good for our soul as God wants us to love Him and love our neighbours as ourselves. It takes humility and maturity for us to be able to thank others for what they have done for us.
One of my earlier reservations about thanking people is that they will become proud but this is so far from the truth. I have come to realize that speaking words of gratitude encourages the recipients to be more confident of themselves and it helps confirm in their hearts that what they are doing is good and acceptable. This spurs them on to continue doing what they know to be right.
Another reservation I used to have is that it would feel very awkward to thank someone as I have not been raised to express myself in this manner from a young age. I would think of writing a letter of thanks but thought it might be difficult to fill a whole page with many words of thanks and if the letter was too brief, it might look pathetic. If I decided to send a “thank you” card, the written words in the card might not express exactly what I wanted to say in my heart.
I also feared that it might be awkward for the recipient to receive my verbal words of thanks as they might not know how to respond, and I imagined that we would both be standing awkwardly together not knowing what to do next after the grateful words were spoken and heaard. In that moment of awkwardness, either the recipient or I might end up responding with words that might not be appropriate. These are all the fears I used to have about expressing my gratitude to others!
I thank God that through the advancement in technology, these days, I can easily send an email or even just send a text message through my mobile phone to thank people whom I want to thank. I do not have to write a one-page letter and mail it. It is now so much easier to thank people without the problem of feeling awkward and it may also be easier for the recipient to respond as he or she will have more time to do so. Personally, these means of communication is helping me a lot to as I kickstart a habit of thanking others regularly.
”Therefore encourage one another and build each other up….” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
In this Bible verse, we are told to “encourage one another and build each other up” and what better way to do this than to express thankfulness and gratitude and to give honour where honour is due.
I feel that we are living in a self-serving, self-centered, and self-obsessed modern day society filled with negativity and constant tearing down of others. If we want to really differentiate ourselves in this world and be a light for Jesus, we need to be more people-oriented and to start to focus on building others up. To “encourage one another and build each other up”, maybe we can start by writing an email or text message, making a phone call or meeting someone up for coffee, to thank the person for who he or she is and for what he or she has done.
Let us pray.
“Dear God, I thank You for Your Word that tells me who You are and teaches me how to be more like You. You are our God who loves and who cares. You are all about empowering us and building us up. So Father, teach me to do likewise as I commit to always say words of gratitude to encourage others and build others up. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”