Because we live in a world that isn’t great at saying “thank you,” we tend to think that gratitude is an extra-credit Christian virtue. Like our temptation to send a “thank you” note in response to someone’s “thank you” note, we might secretly believe that God should be grateful for our thanksgiving.
The Bible, of course, reveals a different perspective. Jesus showed us that gratitude is the minimum expectation of those who are enriched by God’s gifts. When ten lepers are healed of their malady Christ doesn’t praise the one who returns to say “thank you,” he disappointedly asks, “where are the other nine?” (Lk.17:17). The Bible tells us that it is “fitting” and appropriate for his people to praise God (Ps147:1). Certainly we, of all people, should recognize the “gracious hand of God that is upon us” (Ezra 8:18).
We should habitually respond with heartfelt thanksgiving, not just on special days and special occasions, but everyday and in every circumstance (1Th.5:18). May God enable us to always fulfill our fundamental duty to express our joyful thanksgiving to our gracious and generous Redeemer!