We are born, all of us, with GDD--Gratitude Deficit Disorder. The notion that everything good in our lives was given by a gracious God has to be revealed to us. Without that critically important information from the Bible, we would live in the delusion that we made everything ourselves, or worse, that we were at the mercy of the gods of luck.
Learning to say thank you to other people is also learned behavior. We see ingratitude in our children and work hard to teach them how to show appreciation. We make them write thank-you notes to their grandparents for birthday gifts. Let us not assume that we are totally healed. Grown-ups can be terrible takers too.
St. Paul's letters are masterpieces and models of GDD therapy. His opening words are usually full of praises and thanks to God. But the final verses usually carry his heartfelt words of appreciation to the people whose sacrifices, hard work, and passion made possible a community of faith: "Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them" (Romans 16:3,4).
How many people have you thanked this week? Does your church have a thanking culture? Does your spouse feel appreciated? Do the people you work with ever hear praise from you?