I have noticed something that is sad to realize, but some people haven’t learned to say thank you. In some settings, it has become a lost art.
When I was a pastor, I had a stack of thank you cards that I kept in my office desk. I would frequently write a thank you note to those who served in our church. I wanted to let them know I see them and recognize their service. It took only a moment to write a simple thank you. Many times, I would receive back a grateful response from the recipient.
My wife, Jan, grew up in Central America as a missionary kid. Her mother taught her the ministry of thanking others for the gifts they sent in support of their missionary work. No matter how small the gift it always deserved recognition. My passion to thank people was groomed under the influence of Jan’s ethic of expressing thankfulness. To this day, we try to thank anyone who extends God’s grace to us in some tangible form or even the intangible when they offer a simple word of encouragement.
Over many years of telling others “Thank you”, we have learned another lesson. Not all who fail to say thank you are unloving or insensitive. Maybe they were never taught to say thanks or never had it modeled for them. It does not mean they were not appreciative of what was given to them. It is possible their circumstance was overwhelming, or they were trying to juggle too much and simply forget to say thank you.
These situations gave us another chance to give. Instead of becoming offended at what we perceived to be a lack of sensitivity, we were given an opportunity to gift people with grace and understanding. It really is more blessed to give than to receive.
“Give thanks in all circumstances” (I Thessalonians 5:18).