Young children are taught to say “thank you” when someone extends them a kindness. It’s not only good manners, it teaches them to appreciate the things they’ve been given and express gratitude to those responsible.
Yet when God gives us gifts, most people don’t thank Him. Perhaps they don’t recognize or appreciate the gifts they’ve been given. Perhaps they don’t acknowledge those gifts are from God.
Or perhaps they believe they deserve the gifts they’ve been given for for obeying God’s will and there is no need to thank Him. What a blunder.
When we obey God’s will, we are doing what we are supposed to do.
We are not deserving of blessings or praise for merely following God’s will.
Jesus states, “...if you merely obey me, you should not consider yourself worthy of praise. For you have simply done your duty!” (Luke 17:10)
When God blesses us with gifts, it’s not because we deserve it. God blesses us because He loves us and is merciful. He deserves our gratitude in return.
There is a story about gratitude that particularly moves me. In this story, Jesus enters a village and ten lepers cry out to Him to have mercy on them. Ten. Jesus takes mercy on them and heals them all. Only one out of ten returns to express thanks for what Jesus had done.
“One of them came back to Jesus, shouting, ‘Glory to God, I’m healed!’ He fell flat on the ground in front of Jesus, face downward in the dust, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a despised Samaritan (Samaritans were despised by Jews as being only ‘half-breed’ Hebrews). Jesus asked, ‘Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the nine? Does only this foreigner return to give glory to God?’ And Jesus said to the man, ‘Stand up and go; your faith has made you well.” (Luke 17:15-19)
I pray that I recognize and appreciate the gifts that God gives me — not because I deserve them, but because He loves me and is merciful. And I pray that I always remember to thank Him, not because I must but because I love Him too.