"Thank you!"

"THANK YOU " — words spoken and heard many times every day; words taught the little child; words the adult should never allow to fall into disuse! "Thank you" is often spoken perfunctorily, many times thoughtlessly, and frequently with deep and genuine feeling of appreciation. "Thank you" voices a recognition of kindness shown or done, a grateful thought, an acknowledgment of favor received or offered. It is a graceful, genuine expression of courtesy. It cannot come truly from a thought self-centered, disgruntled, ill-natured. It cannot be accepted graciously by a heart unloving, unworthy, or undeserving. "Thank you" is often ointment for a mental wound; it is like the nectar of flowers in a barren spot. "Thank you" is as old as gratitude, and always young. "Thank you" gives and receives.

The Greek philosopher Epictetus, living in the first century, described the emptiness of the obsequiousness shown one raised to the Roman tribuneship in comparison to true gratitude for happiness gained. Referring to the Roman gods, he said, "In truth we thank the gods for that wherein we place our happiness." His thought, though not recognizing the real source of blessings, was an advance from that fear and propitiation upon which many forms of early religious practices were based. But one earlier than Epictetus, if unknown to him, namely, Christ Jesus, who taught of God as Love, had taken away the spirit of fear in religion. His revelation of the power of divine Love at once began to permeate the then known world, and may have been an indirect influence in bringing about such an advance of thought as that shown by Epictetus and other profound thinkers of that period.

The Hebrews' sacred literature, the Old Testament, breathes in song and praise the spirit of true thankfulness to God for His wondrous works. The words in the Scriptures translated "to thank" mean to bless, to confess, to praise, to give glory to, to profess, to be worthy, to find favor, to offer. The Psalms are a rare collection of praises, sung or spoken, which will live and express the spiritual joy of human beings so long as printed word remains. In the King James Version of the Bible we have a translation of the original renowned for beauty and poetic fervor.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

Law and Liberty
April 9, 1932

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.