How many times a day do you say “Thank you”? Is it something you see as important?
I remember teaching my children to say “Ta” as babies, because I felt it was an important part of learning to interact with others.
How do you feel if somebody doesn’t say “thank you”? I admit that I feel a bit aggrieved when a good deed isn’t acknowledged. It doesn’t mean I want something in return – it’s just that nobody likes to feel ignored.
Thanks are linked to the idea of “good thoughts” – “thank” and “think” are related. (Online Etymology Dictionary).
Jesus felt that thanks were important. On three different occasions, we are told that he gave thanks before eating. He took time to acknowledge that the food had not simply appeared in front of him, but had been provided.
Where are the nine?
Jesus noticed if people didn’t show gratitude. For example, when he healed ten men who were suffering from leprosy, only one came back to thank him. Jesus said,
“Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”Luke 17 vv 17-18
He also gave thanks outside a tomb where his friend Lazarus was buried. He had wept when he saw the grief of his friend’s sisters, and now he stood at the burial place, still deeply moved. First, he asked for the stone to be removed from its place sealing the tomb. Then he said,
“Father, I thank you that you have heard me.”John 11 v 41
After that, he shouted, “Lazarus, come out!”
When Lazarus appeared alive in the entrance of the tomb, his family were overjoyed. But not everybody was happy. Some of the ruling class were very worried that Jesus was a threat to their authority, and that he had plans to overthrow the Romans who were occupying Israel at the time. They were not at all thankful to see a man rise from the dead. Their attention was on themselves rather than the miracle that had happened before their eyes.
Take time to be thankful. Apart from the positive effect on others, it is an antidote to anxiety. Above all, it is a reminder that God cares about us.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”.Philippians 4 vv 6-7