Early in our marriage while we were eating dinner one evening, I said to Kathe “Thanks for dinner, honey.” She responded a little surprised so I followed up with, “You have taken the time to put it together and it tasted great so I think you deserve a thanks.”

One of the easiest ways to celebrate Thanksgiving is by sharing a simple “thank you” with someone who has served us. On the public platform our culture seems to do fine with this. It is normal for celebrities and politicians to express thanks while the cameras are rolling and crowds gathered. However, what are we like when our guard is down and have nothing to gain? In those moments how often do we express “thank you” to our spouse, parents, children, co-workers, friends or classmates?

Thankfulness is a character issue. It is about humility. When we say “thank you”, we are lowering our self and elevating another. When we do that, we are giving people a sense of dignity.  We are honoring their act of service toward us no matter how insignificant or routine it may seem to them or others.

Thankfulness is also about awareness. In order to give a “thank you” it requires that we shift the focus from our own world to someone else’s. It is where we hit the pause button in our busyness for a moment and acknowledge what someone has done on our behalf. It is a simple act of courtesy that is polite and the mark of a true gentleman or lady.

The life altering effect of Jesus’ suffering, death, burial and rising again from the dead is dependent on our attitude toward thankfulness. It takes a sense of awareness to realize all that Jesus did for you and the people of the world. Awareness is required to realize it was done because you are a sinner and need a Savior. And after you are aware of this it takes humility to say “thank you” for all He did. In that moment, life-change happens because you have lowered yourself and exalted Jesus in your heart. The Scripture says, “Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name” (1 Chronicles 16:8).

A prayer for you – “Lord God, help us to be a thankful people.  Open our eyes to be aware of what others have done for us, both in our homes and from strangers among us.  Then give us humility to lower ourselves and exalt others with a simple thank you.  Greatest of all, help us to thank you for saving sinners just like us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”