Are you a thankful person?
What have you intentionally thanked someone for, recently?
A couple weeks ago, I gave about 25 books away. They cost me about $5 each. The cost doesn’t matter so much to me as the response. What was somewhat surprising was how few people sincerely thanked me for them.
Sure, most of the people (teens and adults) were courteous, but few were specifically grateful. I think they all said, “Thank you” or “Thanks,” because that’s the polite thing to do, but there’s a different tone when people are thankful.
Thankful people aren’t owed anything. Don’t get in a rut where you’re always owed an activity, or a ride, or a good sermon, or a meal, or a book, or a house, or a loving parent, or health, or… anything. No one owes you anything. Thankful people know this. When they get something—anything—they’re grateful. And it shows.
Thankful people are expressively specific. When you’re thankful, be sure to express it in specific terms. At the end of the book day, a few hours later, only one or two of them specifically thanked me for the gift. About half of them thanked me in passing on their way out the door as a general courtesy, but only a couple people were expressly grateful for the gift. Gratefulness shows in words, eye contact, excitement, body language… everything! “Thank you VERY much for this book! I really appreciate it. I know it wasn’t free! I promise I’ll be using it, and thank you for giving us the choice…” You get the idea.
Thankful people are intentional. It takes work to be thankful. Jesus’ gift of healing to the 10 lepers was unconditional, but for 9 of them, it was a little bit incomplete. The one leper who returned to thank Jesus was the one Jesus highlighted. The other 9 lepers were probably grateful in their hearts, but they weren’t intentional about returning to express it, so they got painted in a bad light (for eternity!) Be intentional about thanking God and others for blessings.