My life is a product of my upbringing.
My childhood was a boot camp of training, and manners were a huge part of the daily regime.
My parents were amazing at teaching us kids respect and honor towards all, especially towards those older and in positions of authority. They also taught us manners; you know the words… “please” and “thank you”, particularly “thank you”.
If we received ANYTHING we HAD to say “thank you”, and in fact, we HAD to write and send a thank you cards.
I remember this driving me nuts as a kid; I hated it even, because there was always the check up to see if we had actually done what was asked of us, so the looming expectation never left until I had obeyed my parents.
However, now as a middle-aged mother I am so thankful for this early training and I admire deeply that my parents were so faithful in their constant, consistent training of us kids.
The term “thank you” carries profound acknowledgement of another’s kindness or outpouring of love and thoughtfulness.
The term thanksgiving carries deeper implication of an attitude of the heart and mind; it implies an action that I would give to another.
Yesterday as I was reading in Psalm 50; verse 23 jumped off the page;
“The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies Me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show my salvation”.
Right away questions were stirring within my heart…
What would it look like for me to offer thanksgiving as a sacrifice?
What am I giving up as I say “thank you” to God?
I pretended that I was a stranded child on an island who had only the Word of God and the Holy Spirit as my teacher and counselor as I pressed further into this one little verse…and more questions came…
The Word says “the one who OFFERS thanksgiving”; could this mean that the one who offers thanksgiving without being told to do so, that it would become a sacrifice?
And what is it about this particular action that glorifies God?
Does that mean that His glory will be seen in my life as I give up thanksgiving as an offering? Woah, that is incredible if that is the case! Does this also mean that the opposite is true? God’s glory is hidden when my life is not full of thanksgiving?
It really was the first part of verse 23 that kept my mind occupied for a while and my island girl conclusion was that my prayer life has been top-heavy in the petition department and very low in the thanksgiving department.
This discovery left me a little stunned as to how easily my heart is beckoned away from GIVING TO God.
“I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify Him with thanksgiving.
This will please the Lord MORE than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs.
When the humble see it they will be glad; you who seek God let your hearts revive (Psalm 69:30-32).
I will magnify Him with THANKSGIVING and God will be glorified and He will be seen in my humanity as I learn to offer this sacrifice of a simple thank you.
And to think He was already preparing my heart for His words of truth through the training of my parents!
How wonderful! How glorious and amazing!
God THANK YOU for Your Word and thank you for parents who loved you enough to love me through simple training of manners!