Thank you for the day, for the rain, for breath, for my family. You get the point. I say it a lot.
|Chris Piascik (CC)|
But one day while pondering the Lord’s prayer—Jesus’ master course on how to pray—I noticed there’s one thing missing:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
Jesus doesn’t say it. So I started wondering, should I?
A few years ago I gave a DVD to a friend.
It was his birthday, and I had carefully selected the movie for him. I considered his favorite actors. I considered other movies he enjoyed. I had even watched it myself, and I knew for sure he’d love it.
So I drove to Borders (remember those?) and bought it for him. I wrapped it up. I gave it to him.
He said, “Thank you.”
A few months later I was at his house when I spotted the movie on his desk. It was still in the plastic wrap coated in an inch of dust.
How I Learned to Stop Saying Thank You and Do This Instead
To be fair, the gospels record Jesus giving “thanks” several times. All but one instance relates to food or drink. The other time?
“Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” John 11:41b-42
In other words, “You know that I know you always hear me. I wouldn’t have said thank you except for these people nearby.” Now, you and I aren’t Jesus, not even close. So maybe we can’t (or shouldn’t try to) get away with this. But regardless, the principle is evident.
Rather than saying thank you all the time, maybe you should live your life a way in which you don’t have to. A way in which your gratitude is evident. If I’m really thankful for my kids, maybe I should hug them more, play with them more, pay attention to them more.
If I’m really thankful for the day that He has made, rather than saying so maybe I should instead make the most of every moment. Maybe I should be deliberate with how I spend my time.
Jesus didn’t tell his disciples to say thank you because God would rather you live out your gratitude than pay him lip service. There’s nothing wrong with saying thanks, but don’t say it if you don’t mean it.
The Best Way to Say Thank You
And to be fair to my friend, I didn’t expect anything in return for the gift. I was just sad because he never watched the movie. He said, “Thanks” because that’s what you do in that situation. But I do think he would enjoy the movie if he ever cracks open the case.
God is the best gift giver of all because He knows exactly what you need, when you need it. That’s why He gave you His son.
But rather than saying thanks for the sacrifice on Calvary, how about you start living out your gratitude?
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