Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts … and be thankful. (Colossians 3:15)
I had the privilege of being a school governor for nine years. What with school inspections to bring the school out of its “serious weaknesses” category and several changes in head teacher, it was certainly a challenging role. But one of my abiding memories is that, at the end of lengthy governors’ meetings, the head teacher never failed to say, ‘Thank you’. Two simple, quick words: an acknowledgement of work done and time given, and an encouragement to carry on!
How often does each of us say ‘thank you’, I wonder? Perhaps to the preacher (whose hours of study are unseen beneath the final message); or to the worship group (whose choice of songs we may criticize more readily than appreciate); or to those who keep the ‘wheels’ of church life turning smoothly? Or to the bus driver or the shopkeeper? Thank you: two little words that provide an encouragement to carry on.
Perhaps we may think that we are only an ‘ordinary Christian’ or are new to the church, so who are we to say thank you to someone else? Might it not sound presumptuous or patronizing? But such thoughts shouldn’t stop us from expressing gratitude to others; for gratitude is an immensely Christ-like quality.
We may need to creatively think of ways of saying thank you. When I recently finished work on a Study Bible, I gave copies to others who were part of the team: not just to colleagues who had helped work on it, but also to the couple who run the Post Office from where the material was sent out (not everything can be done by e-mail!), to the courier who regularly delivers his books, and to the proprietor of the local Chinese takeaway which his family regularly patronizes! These were all part of the team, so why not say thank you to them?
Above all, we should be grateful to God, the giver of all things, who generously provides what we don’t deserve. Today, will you be one of the 10% who acknowledge with thanksgiving the Lord’s answer to prayer (see Luke 17:11-19)? For with Christ-like gratitude comes Christ-like peace in our hearts.
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont