Simple to say, profoundly significant. And strangely hard to do. And when we don’t say, “Thank you,” it’s extremely revealing. Of all the valid things that might be said about the ignorance and waywardness of our hearts, Paul singles out ingratitude for special mention: “They didn’t thank God” (Romans 1:21). It’s as if “You never said thank you” is the transgression that clinches the case against us.
Thankfulness is a jewel in the crown of life. Colossians is a short letter, but being thankful pops up seven times. “Thank you” is one of humility’s core instincts.
Why wouldn’t I say thank you? Perhaps I don’t feel thankful. I feel entitled. I don’t recognize who’s giving me every good thing. I don’t want to need help or depend on anyone. I want to take all the credit for myself, thank you very much, and no thanks to you. But when I awaken to who gives me good gifts, I’m grateful.
And gratitude is a primary expression of sanity. First Corinthians 4:7 teaches us to say, What do I have that is not a gift?! James 1:17 teaches us to see that every good gift is from above, coming down from our Father.
So what are you thankful for? Think about that.
Two good gifts draw special notice in Scripture. The first is the Gift of gifts, Jesus Christ our Lord: “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15). He has freely given us the pearl of great price. Other people are the second noteworthy gift: “We always thank God when we pray for you” (Colossians 1:3).
I want to especially thank God for men and women around the world who love how the wisdom of Scripture touches people’s deepest struggles and troubles. Over the past 48 years God has blessed our ministry with partners who have sparked biblical counseling movements in England, Germany, India, Brazil, and many other places.