Vol.IV No.IV Pg.5
May 1967

Christians Say "Thanks!"

Robert F. Turner

David said, "At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous ordinances." (Psm. 119:62) Yet there are Christians (?) who will not thank God for the blessings of the day.

We could not begin to cite, in the space allotted, the many scriptures that teach the importance of giving thanks unto God. It is unnecessary; for all freely acknowledge that this is scriptural and right. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, -- " (Jas.1:17) "In Him we live, and move, and have our being." (Acts 17:28) THE NUMBER ONE PROBLEM of those who do not express their gratitude to heaven, is their failure to recognize His constant abiding presence and beneficence.

NUMBER TWO PROBLEM; our failure to recognize our absolute and total dependence upon the Creator. Ingratitude and an insidious form of infidelity go hand in hand. Paul describes the pagan gentiles as people who knew God (i.e., were forced to recognize the presence of a Creator) but "they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful." (Rom.1:21) Those who enjoy word studies will find a remarkable kinship in "grace" "gift" "thanks" "gratitude" etc. (Charis).

On one occasion ten lepers lifted their voices, saying, "Master, have mercy on us!" As they went the way Jesus sent them, ten men were healed. Yet one alone, a hated Samaritan, returned to thank the Lord. And Jesus said, "Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?" TEN pleaded for mercy -- ONE returned to thank. Do we find ourselves among the NINE? Failure to express our thanks, to God, and to man, may have many causes; ranging from embarrassment or lack of training in gracious living, to rude churlishness. But ingratitude -- the lack of feeling of thankfulness -- is directly related to selfishness. The self-centered person does not see his blessings as gracious favors, but as his just due. He feels the world owes him everything; or sees himself as the strong one, rightful recipient of that which others are too weak to withhold. His egoism blinds him to the magnanimous spirit of others who, seeing his littleness, love him in spite of it.

No true gift is made with desire to solicit expressions of thanks, and lavish public expressions may be painfully embarrassing. True gratitude is seldom found in flowery speeches anyway. But even the Lord commented upon the nine who failed to express their appreciation. (Lu.17:12-f) It is encouraging and heart-warming to know that our efforts are fruitful; and sincere, humble reception is the finest fruit of all.

There is not one of us but that owes much to those around us. Some Public School teacher, some helpful neighbor, a co-worker who gave us a boost -- or constructive criticism -- at a critical time. Are we too proud to admit it? Saying "Thanks!" doesn't make a Christian, but it is hard to believe a man could develop Christian character and omit gratitude. Your silence may be cheating your soul.