SHOULD I JUST TELL YOU I AM THANKFUL?

Strange question you might think.  Of course we should tell each other we are thankful. But how do you say you are thankful to someone—especially to God? You might answer: You just say it!

I don’t want to be like the man who on his wedding day said to his bride: “Now honey, listen carefully, I am only going to say this once and not repeat it. “I love you.”  I guarantee that marriage is headed south because all of us need reminded of our spouse’s love regularly.

Neither do I want to keep company with the 9 lepers who never came back to thank Jesus for healing them. Only one of the 10 returned and said thank you (see Luke 17:11-19), and get this –HE WAS A SAMARITAN!  A Samaritan thanking a Jew for anything was indeed rare.  He not only said thanks, but he DID SOMETHING. He came back and bowed at Jesus’ feet. He set aside the excitement of getting home to family, of showing off his new condition to come back to where his healing occurred, back to his first encounter with Jesus!

Just a point of clarification: I must remember that God does not need my thanks to survive or thrive. But I need to give Him my thanks. If He is the source of all my blessings (James says He is 1:17), then it stands to reason we begin our thanksgiving journey with Him.

Once again the question is worth raising: How do I say thanks? Well, we can say thank you with our words. Yes, words are very important. Regularly expressed thanks to God dominates the book of Psalms and is sprinkled throughout all the pages of Scripture. Words communicate what is in our hearts. God gave us speech to use for His glory!

But there is another dimension to giving thanks that we sometimes overlook. Listen to Paul in I Corinthians 10:31 “So, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

It seems then the way we give thanks best is shown in what we do.  Let’s get practical. It is thanksgiving day…the family has gathered…rehearsed all they are thankful for…consumed the turkey and giblets (hey, those are the highlight of the meal for me…yum…yum), the cranberry sauce, potatoes, pumpkin pie…etc. and then everybody scatters to their “fellowship circles.”  So, who cleans up? The cook? The mom? Aunt Sally? It seems to me that all the grateful folks should help clean up.  The best way to give thanks is to jump in and DO thanksgiving. Our thanks pokes out in our shoe-leather. You can say thank you to someone by taking the time to listen to them, help meet a need they have, or speak a word of encouragement backed up by some appropriate action.

If it reflects a grateful heart, then what we do is the best expression of thanks. The Lord tells us that our work will be blessed when we not only hear the word of God, but when we do it (James 1:22-25). So as we reflect on “thanksgiving” let’s practice our thanks not only in words, but in deeds too.  Think it thru