Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | April 15, 2009

Write Thank You Notes

   I turned 53 years-old on April 7. If I live to be as old as my maternal grandmother I can look forward to another 49 years of life. If I live as long as my paternal grandparents I should be around for another 43 years. This June, I will observe 31 years in full-time ministry. One of the things I enjoy the most about getting older is talking with younger people. I recently met with a young minister from another local church. He asked lots of really good questions about ministry. In the course of our conversation he said, “I know I will experience lots of failures in ministry and in life. But, I want to know how to handle the successes. How can a person remain humble when things are going great?” My reply — “Write lots of thank you notes!”

   Expressing gratitude to others is one of the best ways to stay grounded in life. There is probably no better reminder that our successes are linked to others who assisted, prayed, encouraged, counseled, or cooperated with us. That’s why I make it a point to write personal, hand-written thank you notes every week. Doing so reminds me of how blessed I am and that I am the beneficiary of the gracious love and support of others. If you are not in the habit of writing thank you notes, I encourage you to start this week. Surely you can think of someone to thank or to encourage. Here are a few thoughts about expressing gratitude.

G = Goodness | We all are beneficiaries of the goodness and grace of God. James 1:17 reminds us that God is the giver of “every good and perfect gift.” God has a giving nature, and so should we. He gives good gifts, at the right times, for good purposes. God’s gracious gifts to us should inspire us to give good gifts to others. And, we should be thankful for the good gifts others give to us.

R = Recognition | We should recognize the many ways in which God blesses us daily. I love the old hymn that says, “Count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.” The next time you feel unappreciated, start a list of all of the ways God has blessed you. Don’t overlook even the smallest act of kindness or that you woke up this morning! Life itself is a gift for which to be thankful.

A = Acknowledgment | We should acknowledge the giver of “every good and perfect gift.” This includes those whom God uses to bless us. Doing so will help us to appreciate all of the ways in which God and others touch our lives daily. Thank you notes are a great way to acknowledge your blessings.

T = Timing | Get in the habit of writing timely thank you notes. A prompt reply communicates a high level of sincerity and appreciation. If someone took the time to bless you, then take the time to thank them. This will affirm and encourage those whom God uses to bless you. Remember that people like being appreciated. And, if you have waited too long to send a note, send it anyway. In this case it would be better to be safe than sorry.

I = Intentional | Be intentional about writing thank you notes. I have one desk drawer where I keep a stockpile of thank you notes for every occasion. This makes it easy for me to write timely notes. Begin by purchasing thank you notes and stamps and keeping them in a handy place.

T = Talk | Psalm 107:2 says, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so…” One way in which we can express our gratitude is by verbally acknowledging what God and others have done for us. Thank God for His goodness. Tell others what He has done for you. And, speak well of those who have blessed you in a particular way. Gratitude is a good way in which to make God and others famous. However, don’t let talk replace writing — be sure to also acknowledge your gratitude in writing.

U = Understand | Try to imagine what your life would be like without the goodness of God and the kindness of others. Let the kindness of God and others inspire you to express kindness to others in practical ways. Look for opportunities to bless and encourage others every day.

D = Direct | Keep your thank you notes short, sincere, direct, and to the point. Don’t have others write notes for you. This is a do it yourself task. If possible, avoid using e-mail and text messages to express your gratitude because these methods are too impersonal. Instead, take the time to personally write and mail your note.

E = Enjoy | Remain mindful of and thankful for every daily blessing. Recognize and enjoy the many ways in which your life is enriched by the kindness of others. Don’t overlook even the smallest act of kindness. And then, determine to be a blessing to others. Remember that one way to bless others is by writing personal notes. I hope that if you are not in the habit of writing thank you notes you will start this week.


Responses

  1. Thanks for the “Thank you notes”! I am glad to having great opportunities to learning from your posts! I kept reading and trying to know with understandings from your tools!

    Thanks once again!

    Mortuza
    Bangladesh

  2. Pastor Omar, Matthew cherishes the notes you have sent him. They are very special to him and I often find him praying for you with one of those cards in his hands. T


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