Did you ever wonder if your children would ever get it when it came to manners? I did! When my children were young and just learning to talk, I would try to teach them how to always say please and thank you. You know the normal questions we ask: What do you say? What’s the magic word? Then with a raised eyebrow we waited for the child’s response: “Thank you Mommy!”
Now as I pour my love into my grandchildren, I’m teaching the next generation the same thing. Parents and grandparents all want to see their children have a heart of gratitude. Of course, the best results happen when the children see and hear the adults at home exemplifying a character of gratitude.
This past summer, I was busy cleaning and preparing for friends who were coming into Nashville to visit. I have to admit I was a little frazzled and running behind schedule, so I was focused and rushing from one thing to the other. My granddaughter had asked me a question, and my response was, “No, honey.” She replied, “No, thank you, Gammy!” Oops. It was time to stop, pause, and say it correctly. I regrouped and answered, “No, thank you, sweetie!” She smiled and off to the next adventure she ran.
I am reminded of a story in Luke 17 about someone who didn’t need to be told to say thank you. We read about ten lepers and how they came to Jesus begging him for a healing. All of them receive a healing as they are running home but only one of them returns back to Jesus to say thank you. Jesus makes a point to call out the nine who didn’t show a heart of thanksgiving. He is teaching us the importance of saying thank you.
Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.” Luke 17:17-19 (ESV)
1. How often do you express your gratitude to Jesus?
2. How do you think the nine who didn’t return with thanks, rationalized not coming back to Jesus to say thank you?
3. Can you name someone who is grateful to God for everything?
I’m learning the more I thank God for my blessings, the more I can trust Him and His heart.
Psalm 107:1 “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.” (NLT)
Colossians 3:15-17 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful…And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (NIV)
What can you do to ensure that your family’s hearts develop an “attitude of gratitude” this Thanksgiving season?
This season is a wonderful time to remember to give God thanks with a grateful heart. The overflow of a grateful heart is a person with a joyful heart! The more we express our thanks, the more joy we have each day!
Roy Lessin wrote: “ Thankfulness is not something God gives us. It is not a spiritual gift and it is not a spiritual fruit. We can receive God’s peace, joy and love, but thankfulness is something that we give to God and to others. It is a choice that we make. let us thank Him today with songs of celebration, hearts of strong devotion and acts of admiration.”
Let’s begin each day together as a family with a prayer of thanks!
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How often do you express your gratitude to Jesus?
How do you think the nine who didn’t return with thanks, rationalized not coming back to Jesus to say thank you?
Can you name someone who is grateful to God for everything?
Pray: Dear Lord, Thank you for the gift of life. You alone are my source of hope and strength. Thank you for creating me and calling me by name. I praise Your name and give You all of my heart, mind and soul. Help me to fix my eyes on You and keep my heart clean before You. I long to draw closer to You more and more each day. I love You and give You thanks and praise for Your goodness and mercy.