Two of the most powerful words in the English language are “thank you.”
Jesus did things for people continually, but rarely would anyone say “thank you.”
According to Luke 17:11-20, Jesus passed by 10 people who had the most dreaded disease of His day. When they called out to Him to have mercy upon them, Jesus chose to heal these 10 people from leprosy. While their disfigurement from the disease was gone and their isolation from society was over, only one of the 10 returned to Jesus to say “thank you,” giving glory to God and thanking Jesus personally. Jesus made him whole inwardly and outwardly.
While Jesus loves all people regardless of their gratitude or ingratitude, we become endeared to others when they express thanks for something we may have done for them.
Conversely, people are not drawn to an ungrateful person. Their ingratitude leads them to act as though nothing is ever enough for them. This is not the will of God for anyone. The spirit of ungratefulness is a warning sign of being emotionally unhealthy. Ingratitude is a walking billboard of living in an unhealthy manner.
Who do we think we are when we live with an ungrateful heart? What is wrong with us when our pride is so out of control that we fail to walk with a “thank you” in our hearts and flowing from our mouths?
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” God wants us to give thanks and overflow with gratitude. Giving thanks is being grateful and expressing this gratitude personally, privately and publicly.
It is always God’s will to live with an attitude of gratitude. It is always God’s will to articulate in a meaningful way the two powerful words: Thank you.
When you live daily without a grateful heart, you are on the brink of entering into a downward spiral. The inability to say “thank you” is like a plague, a disease that takes away life.
God wants you to be thankful, not unthankful. God wants you overflowing with gratitude, not ingratitude.
Rise from the ashes of ingratitude with a grateful heart to God and to others. When you do, you are living in the will of God.
If you do not choose to do this, you will begin to feel a sense of entitlement. When you believe you are entitled to certain things, you are entering into dangerous territory. You deceive yourself into thinking you know more than anyone else and everyone is wrong except you.
Author Seth Godin, in a brief article, writes about how “Entitlement fails”: An attitude of entitlement doesn’t increase the chances you’ll get what you want. And it ruins the joy of the things you do get. Win or lose, you lose.
This is greatly evident in our nation today. People think they are entitled. Sadly, even some Christians believe and live like everyone owes them. It is wrong and unbiblical.
God owes us nothing. He has already given us everything through His Son’s death on the cross for us. The blessings from the Heavenly Father are great and are innumerable.
The more content you are, the more grateful you are. Sadly, ingratitude leads to feeling entitled, and this leads to falling into a land of discontent. Ingratitude always leads to discontentedness.
This is why America, including much of the church today, is filled with skepticism, abounding with criticism and inwardly destroying itself with cynicism, which is a sneering disbelief in people, their words and their motives. This exists not only in media and politics, but also in business, education, entertainment, law and religion. Creating disbelief and casting continual suspicion is highly disturbing and limits the level of success in our nation.
Dissecting every word someone says and acting like a police force toward other people is pride and arrogance. What a poor testimony before the world.
We must return to having hearts overflowing with gratitude. Gratitude to God for all He has done. Gratitude to others for what they have done for us. Gratitude that still values two of the most powerful words in the English language: Thank you!
“Give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” 1 Thessalonians 5:18.
Now Is the Time to Lead.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Ronnie Floyd is CEO and President of the SBC Executive Committee.)