Thanks. Just the word lifts the spirit. To say thanks is to celebrate a gift. Something. Anything. Animals. Bald spots. Chocolate. Dictionaries.
in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
– 1 Thessalonians 5:18
At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, “I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight.
– Luke 10:21
Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples.
Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
Speak of all His wonders.
– 1 Chronicles 16:8-9
To say thanks is to cross the tracks from have-not to have-much, from the excluded to the recruited. Thanks proclaims, “I’m not disadvantaged, disabled, victimized, scandalized, forgotten, or ignored. I am blessed.” Gratitude is a dialysis of sorts. It flushes the self-pity out of our systems.
In Scripture the idea of giving thanks is not a suggestion or recommendation; it is a command. It carries the same weight as “love your neighbor” and “give to the poor.” More than a hundred times, either by imperative or example, the Bible commands us to be thankful. If quantity implies gravity, God takes thanksgiving seriously.
Jesus was robustly thankful. He was thankful when Mary interrupted the party with perfume. When he hugged children and blessed babies and watched blind people look at their first sunsets, Jesus was thankful. When the disciples returned from their first mission trip, he rejoiced: “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth” (Luke 10:21).
Thank you, . . .
Don’t be too quick in your assessment of God’s gifts to you. Thank him. Moment by moment. Day by day.