Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will]. —I Thessalonians 5:18 AMP
Like me, you probably learned the common courtesy of saying thank you as a child. If you have children you probably taught them also, and if you have grandchildren, you’re probably teaching them too. In fact, like me, you are probably annoyed when this common courtesy is neglected by children today, and especially adults.
As children, it may have taken some of us awhile to develop the habit. And some may have learned quickly in fear of the consequences if they showed signs of ungratefulness or forgetfulness. However, the circumstances surrounding our expression of thanks as children usually centered on our receiving something. It was always exciting to receive toys, gifts, goodies, and other items and rewards just for expressing gratitude.
Oh, remember the birthday presents, and the Christmas gifts? I vividly recall the exchange of gifts at Christmastime. The room reverberated with excitement as the rippling and crumpling of wrapping paper mixed with unrehearsed but harmonizing expressions of gratitude sent exhilaration off the chart. The atmosphere reeked with gratitude because everyone had received the gifts they desired. Our hearts were overjoyed and giving thanks was easy…
Also, saying, “Thank you” in response to compliments about our appearance or apparel was equally important but not equally grasped as a child. Children must be taught how to be thankful. Occasionally, while in the market I hear the same training technique used years ago especially among African-Americans. If the child does not respond immediately after a compliment, the mother mediates by asking the child, “What do you say?” She may have to ask the question again before the child remembers what to say, but not really knowing why he should say it because he’s accustomed to saying thank you only when he receives something tangible.