Missionary Mildred Tengbom of Kilimanjaro, East Africa, tells about a special custom the Chagga people have for expressing. One day her husband was driving home from town and saw a man walking with great difficulty. He was ill. The missionary gladly picked him up and gave him a ride.
Several days later, the man came to the Tengbom’s door with bunch of bananas. Referring to the missionary’s kindness, he had returned to say thank you by bringing the bananas as a gift.
Genuine thankfulness is marked by a desire to express itself with more than words. We want to give something in return – not as payment for a debt but as gratitude for a gift.
Christ loved us so much that He gave Himself for us (Ephesians 5:2). Because of His sacrificial death, our sins are forgiven (1:7), and we enjoy wonderful spiritual blessings (vv. 3-5).
Although we will want to respond by thanking Him with our lips for all He has done for us (5:4), true gratitude will also be shown in other areas of our lives. To express our appreciation, we ought to “walk in love” (v. 2), avoid any hint of immorality or greed (v. 3), and clean up our language (v. 4).
That’s thankful living, and it pleases God. – Dennis J. De Haan
With thankful hearts give praise to Jesus
For His blessings without end;
Let’s give to Him our full devotion –
He’s our Savior and our Friend. – D. J. De Haan
Thankfulness is the parent of all other virtues.
- November 22, 1990, Our Daily Bread