I have a confession to make - when I got married I did not write thank you notes! It was the trend at that time to give out little scrolls with a preprinted thank you message at the wedding reception. And yes, (gasp) I bought into that lazy idea.
I have always regretted the fact that I did not express my sincere gratitude to all of the generous people who helped Val and I get our start in life. Since then, I have tried to write timely, sincere expressions of my gratitude for gifts, kindnesses, favors, etc.
So often, we just assume that people know we are appreciative of a kindness or gift. Some people even go so far as to say that they do not send (or expect) thank you notes and others will just have to get used to this and accept it. How sad to miss this opportunity to bless others! In Thessalonians the Apostle Paul teaches us, "In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." If it is God's will that we give thanks in everything, I believe that he had a good reason for wanting us to act on this principle.
It shows a tremendous amount of character, maturity, kindness, and consideration for others to take the time to sit down and write a sincere, heartfelt expression of your gratitude. Often in our society, phrases like "I love you" and "thank you" can become shallow and empty. They are quick, auto-programmed words that are just thrown out there. Underneath, the graciousness of what we have received escapes us.
When we take the time to express our feelings of gratitude to someone, a wonderful thing happens. We get to re-live the moment and realize that the giver invested some of his or her time, money or talent in our life. So if you really appreciate what someone has done, prove it with an expression of thanks in the form of written words that they can see and keep.
I would like to challenge and encourage you to love and value those who have extended their love and kindness to you. Take the time to sincerely express your thanks in written form. Friendships are deepened, relationships are strengthened, and hearts are lifted and the desire of God's heart for our lives is fulfilled by our giving thanks.