Saying “Thank You” is a Gift to Others

Written by: Anne Peterson
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I can’t tell you the number of times I have cringed when one person gives another a compliment and it’s not received.

People mean well. They want to make sure God gets the glory. They don’t want to appear proud. So when someone gives them a compliment they respond, “Oh it’s the Lord”or “Oh, it was nothing”.

When someone shares with you that something you did touched them, they are holding out a gift to you. When someone compliments you, they are being gracious and generous to you.

Please, just say “thank you”, otherwise their generous gift remains unopened.

As Christ-followers, everything we do should be of the Lord. Jesus said, “For without me you can do nothing.” John 15:5, but I don’t think we really believe that.

We often think without Jesus we can do less, and our words can reflect this poor understanding of our relationship with God.

God is the very reason for our existence. He was there front and center when we were created. Psalms 139 tells us that God chose every detail of our being, and crafted us individually.

Ephesians 2:10 tells us that we are God’s workmanship, created for good works. Using our gifts is simply being obedient. God handpicked each ability and gift we have. Just as using our gifts pleases God, we also please him when we recognize and thank others for using their gifts.

Giving each other genuine compliments, telling others that what they did touched us, and saying thank you – these are acts of kindness God wants us to do, acts which share his generosity and gentleness with others.

My Bible teacher defined humility for me years ago. She said, “humility isn’t stooping down, pretending to be less than we are. It’s standing to our full height next to someone who is greater”.

We don’t have to slouch or fake humility by shrugging off compliments. Instead, we need to recognize who God is, in all his splendor and glory. When we look up at the night sky, and its stars, realizing he created each one, named them and hung them in place, that’s truly humbling.

So, when someone acknowledges when we use our gifts and compliments us by saying:“your song really touched my heart”

“Your talk really spoke to me”

“You have a gift of hospitality”

“You have a way with words”

We need only say one thing in return: “Thank you.” By doing so, we gently accept the gift they offer and we respond with equal generosity, as the body of Christ.

I love looking at a beautiful sunset, don’t you? I can’t help but smile as I tell my Father, “That’s a good one.”I feel like he painted it just for me.

The funny thing is, I never hear him say, “Oh that’s nothing compared to the one I made last week.” I believe God takes my gift of gratitude. He likes it when I take pleasure in what he’s made.

I also want to take pleasure in the gifts of others, and sharing my own gifts as well. It all starts with two simple words: “Thank you”.

Do you have trouble just saying “thank you,”when someone compliments you?

Check out an earlier post by Anne here.