The Importance of Saying Thanks

Written by Sherri Bergmann

Many think that giving thanks, whether to others or to God, is simply expressing gratitude and appreciation, and nothing more. However, much is ignited the moment that happens, in the one you give thanks to and in you personally, and there are blessings that abound from having and conveying sincere gratefulness.

Thanking others and what THEY get from hearing your appreciation:
When you thank someone for something they gave you or did for you, it sets a warm and lasting “happiness factor" in their heart and mind. They wanted to please you. Acknowledging their act and showing appreciation rests well with them, whether it's a doctor who saved your life, your spouse who ran that errand for you, or someone that got you a thoughtful gift. Because of this simple gesture of saying thank you, they would be willing to make you happy again because you showed appreciation.

What happens when you do not thank others:
In sharp contrast, when you do not show appreciation towards someone who did something for you out of love and care,  the "happiness factor" dissipates as emotions slide from one end of the spectrum to the other end where there are feelings of hurt, sadness, and even anger. They may think twice about wanting to do something for you again due to negative feelings about you beginning to take root.

Giving thanks is bigger than people realize. It sets things in positive motion for others as well as in ourselves.

Thanking others and what YOU get from expressing your appreciation:
When we show appreciation, we instantly feel more closely connected to God and to others, as it is an act of love. God is love, and he commanded us to love others. When we don’t extend appreciation to others, we are not being loving.

The moment we say “Thank You,”  whether in person, email, text or in handwriting, we release love. We feel better, and they feel better. Many still advocate that mailing a personal handwritten note is more special because it takes more time and effort to express appreciation in this personable way. Countless internet sources report that Thank You cards continue to be one of the highest in-demand cards in the greeting card business.
 
According to Harvard Medical School, “In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”1

Countless professional resources agree that expressing gratitude is one of the best ways to get out of a slump, to build better relationships, and to have a healthier mental outlook and overall feeling.

When we express appreciation, we get more than what we were given.

Thanking God:
The same can be said for writing thank you to God. There are many benefits to keeping a thanksgiving journal of what you’re grateful for each day. Not only can this extra effort add impact to your expression of appreciation, it forces you to spend time identifying the numerous things you have to be thankful for that are often forgotten in the middle of our clustered thoughts and busy lives. When you revisit your list of appreciation, your sense of gratitude can be renewed as you remember, and strengthened as you add new things you are thankful for.

Thanksgiving Challenge:

Set a time aside in the month of November (for as long as you can, unlimited if you are able) and go somewhere peaceful where no one can bother you. Turn your phone off. Give yourself fully to this time alone with God— just you and Him. He’s at the center of your attention, and remember you are always at the center of His attention.

Take a deep breath as you soak in the time with Him. From your heart, thank Him for everything you are thankful for. Let the thoughts of gratitude flow to Him in prayer. Even if you are at a rough spot in life, there is always something to thank Him for (i.e. salvation in Him, your home, your clothes, food, etc.) and meditating on these things helps lift your spirits and minimize your problems. You will find there is more you are thankful for than you realize.  That list may evolve into things you want to talk to Him about. Let it flow. And pray even for what you need.

When you wrap up your special time of thanksgiving with God, know that you have made a very special connection with Him because you took time out of your day to spend with Him to express your gratefulness.  

When you show appreciation to the Lord of the Universe first, then your appreciation for others grows and flows more naturally, which in turn builds others up in love.

When you start your day, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” Psalms 100:4

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7

God sets everything in place. Note that one of the big U.S. Federal holidays that are set aside, where many companies provide paid time off work for, is Thanksgiving. God must think that gathering together and giving thanks and glorifying Him is a pretty big deal.
1  https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier
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