Send a Thank-You Note Today

Think about one person who has inspired you, encouraged you, or helped you. Got that person in your mind? Now, let me ask you a question: Have you ever sent a thank-you note to that person?

Send a thank you note today!

(Photo: Monkey Business Images, via Vivozoom)

Not long ago a client sent a thank-you note to the editors in our department, expressing appreciation for their excellent work. The client told me of the editors’ surprising reply: “No one has ever thanked us before.”

That tragic statement got me thinking.

Thinking about Thanking

I began to wonder, How many people have I failed to thank who have contributed to my life? How hard is it to send a thank-you note?

I remember reading a few years ago where The Chicago Daily News reported that thousands of letters came to Santa Claus in the months before Christmas. But after Christmas only one card came to thank Santa for the presents. Can you believe it? Even Santa doesn’t get thank-you notes!

One day Jesus healed ten lepers, but only one returned to thank Him. The Savior’s reply reveals an uncomfortable part of human nature:

Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine—where are they? (Luke 17:17).

Jesus literally asked (and the emphasis is His in the original language): “But the nine—where?” Jesus’ amazement came not from this one who returned to thank Jesus, but from the nine who didn’t!

Palestinean children in modern Jenin

(Photo: Palestinian children in the modern city of Jenin, ancient Ginea, perhaps the city where Jesus healed the ten lepers. Image by Tarek, via Wikimedia Commons)

Why We’re Often a Thankless Lot

Why do we fail to say, “Thank you,” to those who have helped us? Maybe we think:

  • Sending a thank-you note is a hassle. It takes time.
  • He already knows I appreciate him.
  • I plan to jot her a thank-you note soon. Maybe tomorrow. Someday. Soon.
  • Someone else will do it or probably already has.

Or worse, sometimes we fail to say, “Thank you,” because the thought never occurs to us.

You Have the Power of Appreciation

“But the nine—where?” Jesus’ question exposes us, doesn’t it?

Unless we make a deliberate effort to turn back and give thanks, we will fall into the rut of taking others for granted. Good intentions excuse us from ever really doing anything.

Take a moment right now and scribble or type a thank-you note to that someone you thought about who helped you. Some examples:

  • A parent or step-parent
  • A pastor (he really needs to hear it!)
  • A friend who prayed for you when you had a special need
  • A teacher or professor who changed the course of your life

A few years ago I decided to write and encourage my father during a discouraging time in his life. I thanked him for everything I could remember him doing for me. Everything.

I kept it simple and wrote: “Thanks for this. Thanks for this. Thanks for this”—etc. On and on I wrote. I bet I had more than fifty things on the list at the end of the thank-you note. He later told me he felt like a hero when he read it.

Isn’t the power of appreciation amazing? You have that power.

Take the time to use it today.

Question: Why do you think we are so slow to thank those who have helped us? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • Todd T

    Great Idea. I think I will do this right now.

  • JFKAR

    Well, I’d like to thank *you*, Wayne! Your writing is a huge blessing, and your blog is delightful.

    • http://www.waynestiles.com/ Wayne Stiles

      How kind of you, JFKAR. Thank you! It is a privilege.

  • Magdalena

    I believe because of self-centerednes, lack of apreciation, and not believing that God is in control. And that He wants us to be thankful always. 1 Thessalonians 5:18. We have to be thankful in everything, can you imagine this!!!!!!

    • http://www.waynestiles.com/ Wayne Stiles

      That’s a great reminder. I’m convicted by the fact that “being thankful” is often a cop-out for “giving thanks.”

  • Jarnoldjr

    Thanks Wayne for your faithfulness that I got to watch from DBC to SMOTS to Insight which has challenged and inspired me. Blessings bro!

    • http://www.waynestiles.com/ Wayne Stiles

      Thank you, James. Thanks very much.

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