My son, Blue, jumped up to show me his finished homework after a long day. Now Blue is in Kindergarten and thinks homework is the coolest thing. After looking over his work, he said “Mom, I need you to write something on my homework for my teacher.” So I grabbed a pencil as he eagerly told me what to write.
“Thank you for my homework, Mrs. Noelle.”
I was proud and touched by his genuine heart of gratitude. But I also thought, how can a five-year-old boy be thankful for his homework? After discussing it with him, I came to the conclusion that Blue really enjoys his teacher and that his thankfulness flowed from the warmth in his heart toward her.
“Genuine thankfulness is an act of the heart’s affections, not an act of the lips’ muscles.” –John Piper
Can you say you are a thankful person? This question has been looming in my mind this month. I believe we all aspire to say yes, but here’s the thing, we can easily say thank you, but do we mean it?
See, thankfulness is not a statement. It’s a choice of the heart! It’s a moment when your heart and lips align to choose gratitude. When this happens, our thanks is genuine.
What does this look like in everyday life?
We could just say thank you to the barista at Philz Coffee out of routine, or we could genuinely say it by leaving them a great review, saying how much we enjoyed our coffee and our experience.
What does this look like in our spiritual life?
“Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping Him with holy fear and awe.” Hebrews 12:28 (NLT)
The Kingdom of God is unshakable. This means it’s resolute, stable, and rooted. It’s not shaken by our life choices, our past mistakes, or our current season. We have true reason to be thankful. So when we choose thanksgiving, we are pleasing God as an act of worship. When we choose a heart of genuine gratitude, we are affectionately worshiping Him. As a result, we desire to please Him more. We become more generous with our time, our resources, our love, and our gifts. We now have a thankful heart that can please God through worship.
You see, all God wants from us is our heart. When we serve, lead, and honor God, we are offering more than just a thank you. We are pouring out of a thankful heart and that blesses the Lord and those around us.
Let us not be those who simply mumble a thank you because we should. Instead, let us genuinely seek to please the heart of God by truly being thankful for God’s story, our story, and how it all came together to align us with Heaven’s story.
So yes, we should say thank you, but let’s give thanks with a grateful heart. (Colossians 3:15-16)
Take some time to examine your heart’s affections today and look for reasons to be thankful. Then offer up those to the Lord as an act of worship to God.