November is the thankful month culminating in Thanksgiving Day and it is not just the day before Black Friday. If you look in the concordance in the Bible you will see a long list of verses with the words thank, thanks or thanksgiving. So it must be important and we need to make it so. It does take discipline and thoughtfulness to make it part of your attitude as well as vocabulary. Like all good habits, it takes practice, so it isn’t just a rote but comes from the heart. Learning to be thankful and expressing our thanks should become a part of our character.
Another part of thanks is knowing how to receive it. One of my favorite wishes for myself is to be a gracious receiver.
Too often we tend to shrug off a word of thanks; maybe we mumble something to acknowledge we heard. We might say, “that’s okay,” or even worse, “it was nothing.” Now what does that say to the person expressing appreciation? Just maybe it could say to the person expressing appreciation, that we were not genuine in our doing the kind act or good word.
We have robbed someone of a chance to be kind in return. That is not being a gracious receiver!
Like all good habits or skills it takes practice for it to come naturally and sincerely. It means we give the person our undivided attention because what they are saying is important. Many times it gives us an opportunity to give a positive response which will even further the good feeling thus generating more good feelings. We can come away with a double feeling of worth. When we lift someone else up, we lift ourselves up. In fact it could lead to a chain of thanks. I thank you for your thanks; thank you for saying thanks and so forth.
In Matthew 25:40 we see the words that Jesus told in the story of the sheep and goats, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.” I quoted the Revised Standard Version. It seems to say to me that we can learn to be a gracious receiver of God’s gifts and expressing our appreciation by practicing on the people around us.
So I use this means to express my appreciation to my readers.