Please & Thank You


Read: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28     

I recently heard the story of an elementary teacher who used a bag of Reese’s Pieces to teach the children in her class a lesson in saying thank you.  She went around to each desk giving each of her students the same number of candies.  As she did that only 1/4 of the students in the class said thank you as she placed the candies on their desk.  When she was done she said that she had some candy left over and she was going to give extra to all those who said “Thank You” the first time around.  All the students in the class began yelling out “Thank You” in hopes of getting more candy.

This provided the teacher with the opportunity to talk with them about being grateful and saying please and thank you when they ask for something or when someone gives them something.  When I heard this story I began to hear the purple dinosaur Barney singing that song that our kids use to watch on T.V. some years ago.  “He’s talking ’bout please and thank you, they’re called the magic words, if you want nice things to happen, they’re the words that should be heard, remember please and thank you, ’cause they’re the magic words.”

The Bible is full of verses in which giving thanks to God is a focal point.  It is also filled with stories that encourage us to be polite, generous, and thankful to each other as well.  1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  Barney may call them magic words but in my life they have been known as words to live by and use as often as possible.

We need to teach our children and grandchildren how to be polite, caring, and thankful for what others do for us.  We need to teach them how important it is to give thanks to God for all the blessings in our life.  We need to explain to them the importance of giving thanks in all circumstances and then lead by example.  Oh, there is the most important part.  They must see us saying please and thank you on a regular basis as well.

One of my favorite verses of thanksgiving is found in Psalm 106:1.  It says, “Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”  Take time this week to give thanks to God, and then be sure to give thanks to others who bless you in special ways.  Who knows, you may just get some extra Reese’s Pieces on your desk.

Make it Personal:  Think about how you interact with others on a daily basis.  Does your gratitude shine through when you are blessed in certain ways?  If you have children or others that you influence are you teaching them the importance of being thankful and actually saying the words out loud?  Ask the Lord to help you have a generous heart that is overflowing with thanksgiving.

Have a great week, Glen Rhodes, Arthur Mennonite Church