Do we express our thanks to others?Yesterday we looked at the idea of being thankful for the people God has placed in our lives. To be sure, the gratitude is primarily expressed to God, who puts these special people in our lives. It is an attitude of appreciation and thanksgiving that recognises that God has blessed us with people who share our journey and ministry.
But Paul not only thanks God for people, he expresses something of that gratitude to the people themselves, letting gratitude become an encouragement.
His letter to the Thessalonians is a case in point:
Paul is grateful for their example and their response to the gospel.
He takes time to express the reasons for his gratitude to them. He takes the time to be quite specific about the things they did that he is grateful for.
Are there people in your life that you are grateful for?
Are there remarkable things about their character and life that you are specifically grateful for?
Why not take a moment to express your thanks to them?
I'm not talking about slavish or mechanical expressions of thanks for services rendered or gifts given - Rather I am talking about expressions of appreciation for people that will encourage and inspire them.
This is what Paul is doing.
Imagine how this would have encouraged the Thessalonians...
Imagine what a sincere expression of appreciation (with reasons) could mean to someone who has been a blessing to you...
|We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. 3 We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. |
4 For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7 And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 The Lord's message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia--your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, 9 for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead--Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath. (1Thessalonians1:2-9)