Posted by: JennyRain | October 15, 2009

The Power of Gratitude

My husband is great at saying thank you.

This morning he thanked me for taking care of the dogs. Yesterday he thanked me for turning on the fan when I showered. The day before that he thanked me for being his wife.

He is a great “thank-er” and I am so grateful for this aspect of his personality because I am definitely a words person. Words of thanks perk me up, motivate me, and encourage me. I love being thanked, even for the smallest of things.

This morning we had a discussion about how saying “thank you” seems to be a forgotten art in our society.

When I was growing up, my mom used to chase me around the house with thank you cards after my birthday and Christmas. I used to dread any time I had to open presents because I knew I would be writing a gaggle of thank you notes after the event! Well, not really, I’m a gift person – but you know what I’m saying. Her persistence paid off however, because I learned to be a woman who tries to say thank you, even for the smallest of things.  

But today I watch as people bend over backwards to serve tirelessly, yet others do not even acknowledge the effort. Worse yet, it is as if many people expect to be served like this, as if they are entitled to others jumping through hoops to serve them. I don’t get it.

Why don’t people say thank you anymore?

There is a story my Pastor reminded us of recently about thankfulness. It is in Luke 17:11-19 and is the story of ten lepers who were healed by Jesus as He was walking to Jerusalem one day.

The ten lepers cried out to Jesus as He walked. They begged Jesus to cure them of this dreaded disease that caused them to be social outcasts in their communities. Jesus responded. He then directed them to show themselves to the Priests for their healing. The reason the men had to see the priests is as follows:

So seriously was leprosy taken that there was a definite ceremonial as well as hygienic process for restoring the leper who was healed. Before he could re-enter society and stop crying “Unclean!” he had to be certified as healed by the priest, who would then restore him to ceremonial as well as hygienic purity (1).

Yet after this miraculous event, only one of the ten returned to Jesus to say thank you. Wow! I have to think this stung Christ at least a little bit because He said:

“Were not ten healed? Where are the nine? Can none be found to come back and give glory to God except this outsider?”

Even Christ did not receive many thank you’s.

 Today at work, our leaders wives baked some scrumptious goodies as a thank you for our service. It was really cool, not only because the baked goods were amazing, but because it was such an incredibly kind gesture. I mean, I should be thanking them because they are the support system to the leaders – freeing those leaders up to lead. And it is our leaders who create the environment that enables all of us to perform our jobs successfully in the first place!

How humbling it was to be offered that kindness for something that I feel is an honor and a privilege to do every day. It was very special.

It is amazing how saying thank you can change a person’s day.

It is wonderful how gratefulness can change your own outlook on the world. Many of us have food to eat, a roof over our heads, and relatively -healthy bodies. We get to have our cup of coffee in the morning under a sunrise that is unfettered by armed guards or bombs exploding nearby. As a woman in a free country, I have the amazing privilege of having the freedom to receive an education and find work. As a woman in a country with religious freedom, I can worship God without having to hide.

My pastor said today, “God’s guidance of us is staggering.” God guides, He loves, He rescues, and beyond that He lavishes us with ridiculous blessings – both spiritual and often material.

And even if I did not have any of these things – if I was homeless, food-less, freedom-less, family-less, and friend-less – the fact remains that Christ has healed me and set me free from my own internal leprosy – the leprosy of sin. Because He took the punishment, shame, and wrath of my wrong-doings (and wrong-being), I do not have to. Because of His love and death, I have the freedom to live.

For all of us who have chosen to embrace this love of Christ – how can we not be a grateful people?

 

 

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Responses

  1. Amen sister! I try to thank my wife for the things she does everyday. I thank her for doing the laundry, for making our dinner, for loving our kids. This is so important.

    I write a blog about marriage and how men can better love their wives. I hope you will check it out when you have a chance.

    http://whatsheneedsfromyou.wordpress.com

    Thanks,

    • Ken – thank you so much for sharing your site! You have to meet my girlfriend Melanie – she is a writer for Harvest House and has completed the book What a Husband needs from His Wife (http://shopp31.com/whatahusbandneedsfromhiswife.aspx) – she is amazing! Her blog is http://www.melaniechitwood.com/ and she is on the Proverbs 31 speaking team.

      I’m going to share your blog with her too! I just did a follow on your twitter account as well so I can see when you post new blogs. This is my first year of marriage, so every little bit of knowlege helps.

      Blessings to you and your wife!

      Jenny

  2. […] Posts The Power of GratitudeOrdinary People doing Extraordinary ThingsJenny who? Children of our heartsFreedom Is Not […]

  3. My husband has been thanking me for cooking dinner. He’s coming to understand my love language.

    • encouragement or acts of service? or both? i’m still trying to teach my hubby mine… gifts 🙂 we like we like gifts we do we do. 🙂


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