“I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers…” (Ephesians 1:16)
The issue of expressing gratitude came up in a family… we’ll call it a “discussion” recently. The spirit of the debate was more about the motivation behind giving gifts: Do we give them with the expectation of receiving acknowledgement/gratitude, or do we give gifts from the heart with no expectation or strings attached? Good stuff. I’m pretty sure I know what Jesus would have said if I could have invited Him into our chat.
When my boys were younger (i.e., when they were under my roof), I insisted that they write thank you notes for gifts they received before they were allowed to play with them. This was one of our many rules at the Wohlford house… we ran a tight ship as a military family. As I reflect on this, I now wonder whether this helped them to be grateful for the gifts they received or ended up being one of the things they had to check off their list after a birthday or holiday. Did we truly teach them to have a thankful heart? I would love to hear how your family currently handles this issue in your home. You’re never too old to learn!
I have certainly noticed that the students at Veritas are polite and grateful. One of the first things I observed when I started visiting classes was that our students thank their teachers at the end of each class as they’re leaving. You may not realize this if you’ve never been in another school, but this is remarkable. Commendable. Praiseworthy! In all my years of teaching and popping into classrooms, I’ve never seen students thank their teachers on their way out. I actually got teary on one of my first few days here after witnessing a class full of grateful students.
You no doubt have a Thanksgiving tradition surrounding what your family is grateful for or listing all the blessings in your family’s life. I guess my question this week is something that I am pondering, so I’ll throw it out to you: What can we do to show our gratitude to God every day of the year? I performed a quick Google search which yielded 146 Bible verses related to giving thanks. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 instructs us to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
May we enter this season of Thanksgiving by being truly grateful to the One who has given us every good and perfect gift. And may we continue to be thankful each and every day thereafter.
Giving thanks to Him for every blessing,