When was the last time you sent a thank-you note? Or just said thank you? Do you routinely acknowledge when someone has given you something or offered a kind word?
There is an art to thanking someone. According to my childhood teachings, it should be in writing, it should be timely (as in fairly soon after receiving the gift), and it should be thoughtful. My grandma and mom taught my brother and I the art of drafting a thank you card and it’s a skill I still use today.
While my mother isn’t shocked to receive a thank you card from me or my child, there are countless examples I’ve seen where people have been surprised by one of my cards.
I’ve written to thank someone who interviewed me for a position I wasn’t offered. I’ve drafted notes to managers of restaurants or event managers. When I made the rank of Chief Master Sergeant in the Air Force, I sent dozens of thank you letters to people who had invested in me and my career over the years. I have even mailed a thank you to my car repairman.
In each of those instances, the thank you card prompted further conversation. The surprise of being thanked has always been mentioned. Why would someone be surprised to receive one? Is it because we’re too busy to write one? Is it because we haven’t been taught to write one? Is it because we don’t find there to be a need for a thank you card?
Maybe I’m old fashioned, or of a different era, but I value sending and receiving a “thank you.” Why? Because it offers a chance to acknowledge that someone has done something kind for you. It illustrates that you are grateful for their actions or words. It also shows them the love of Christ through your behavior.
Scripture gives plenty of examples of how to say thank you, when to say thank you, and what to say when thanking someone.
May the Lord now show you kindness and faithfulness, and I too will show you the same favor because you have done this. 2 Samuel 2:6 (NIV)
And may the Lord reward you for your kindness … Ruth 1:8 (NLT)
For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom & revelation, so that you may know him better. Ephesians 1:15-17 (NIV)
I encourage you to hone your skills in thanking others…it will not only recognize their actions, but it will likely open the door for more conversations.
P.S. Thank you, to all the Iron Porch readers….Erin and I are blessed to know that you are out there encouraging us week after week!!!