Early in our marriage while eating a dinner Kathe had prepared, I said, "Thanks for dinner, honey."
She responded a little surprised, so I followed up: "You have taken the time to put it together, and it tasted great. So I think you deserve a 'thanks.' "
One of the easiest ways to celebrate Thanksgiving is by sharing a simple "thank you" with someone who has served us. On the public platform, our culture seems to do fine with this. It is normal for celebrities and politicians to express thanks while the cameras are rolling and crowds gathered.
However, what are we like when our guard is down and have nothing to gain? In those moments how often do we express "thank you" to our parents, children, co-workers, friends or classmates?
Thankfulness is a character issue. It is about humility.
When we say "thank you," we lower our self and elevate another. And when we do that, we are giving people a sense of dignity. We are honoring their act of service toward us no matter how insignificant or routine we might consider it to be.
Secondly, it is about awareness. In order to give a "thank you" it requires we shift the focus from our own world to someone else's. It is where we hit the pause button in our busyness for a moment and acknowledge what someone has done on our behalf.
It is a simple act of courtesy that is polite and the mark of a true gentleman or lady.
The life altering affect of Jesus' suffering, death, burial and rising again from the dead is dependent on our attitude toward thankfulness. It takes a sense of awareness to realize that Jesus did all this for you and the people of the world. Awareness is required to realize it was done because you are a sinner and need a savior.
And after you are aware of this, it takes humility to say "thank you" for all he did. And in that moment, life-change happens because you have lowered yourself and exalted Jesus in your heart. Scripture says, "Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name." 1 Chronicles 16:8
May God help us to be a thankful people that our souls might be altered forever. May parents, church leaders and employers model humility and awareness that Christ may be our hope for today.
Clint Decker is president and evangelist with Clay Center-based Great Awakenings Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org