“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.” Philippians 1.3
I paused when I read the words ‘I thank’ and I asked myself, ‘Is gratitude one of the graces we are losing to-day?’ We are living in days when there is a very real tendency to take everything for granted. The welfare state is contributing to this attitude but it is spreading into the Church. We evangelical Christians are beginning to take the grace of God for granted.
‘I thank,’ wrote Paul. When did we last give thanks to God? I wonder how many church have ever had a praise meeting? I know some have prayer meetings, and I know a number that haven’t. I am always sorry for a church that doesn’t have a prayer meeting, for a church that doesn’t prayer won’t have much blessing. But how many churches ever stop to give thanks to God? Isn’t gratitude a lovely thing? Don’t we feel hurt if we give a gift to somebody and he never stops to say thank you? I wonder how many times God is hurt by our lack of gratitude? I wonder whether we are grateful enough, not only to God, but also sometimes to members of the church?
‘I thank.’ That is the first thing that Paul mentioned – his gratitude. Our Lord healed ten lepers and only one came back. Our Lord said, ‘Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?’ Is there but one that has returned to give thanks? Only one grateful? We need to cultivate the spirit of gratitude in our relationship, remembering to say thank you. We must not forget to express our appreciation for kindness done for us. People ought to be able to say about Christians, ‘These people must have something because they are so nice.’ Well, let us be nice and be grateful, even if everything isn’t always just exactly as it ought to be or as we would like. What a difference it makes to a person when he is thanked and feels he is appreciated.
–Duncan, George B. Quiet Time. Belfast: Ambassador Productions, 1975. Print.