Listen again to BBC Radio Ulster Thought For The Day

This week I received a letter of thanks. It’s from one of the least well-off families I have the privilege to know. That card now sits on my mantlepiece in pride of place.

All of us appreciates it when someone simply says “Thanks’.

But I also heard a story this week which dismayed me beyond words. A teacher received a letter from a parent demanding the school stop making their child say ‘please’ and ‘thankyou’ as that was imposing on their youngster values that were at odds with their ethos at home.

‘Thanks’. A very small word, but evidently so contested.

Research however tells us that words of gratitude at work create strong, collaborative ties that strengthen bonds of trust. Spouses who express appreciation to their partners in casual conversations are more than three times less likely to break up.

Simply being thanked for completed work, lead participants to be far more likely to volunteer for more.

While saying ‘thank you’ is evidently so powerful, why then is it so hard to express? Maybe because it makes us feel vulnerable or exposes our sense of dependence?

Luke’s gospel tells us a fascinating story about 10 people who had a terrible infectious disease called leprosy. It had led to their ostracization and when they met Jesus, they called out in a loud voice; “Master, have pity on us”.

Jesus did, and as they went on their way their skin was restored.

One of them, when he realized that he had been healed came back, praising God in a loud voice and throwing himself at Jesus’ feet thanked him.

Jesus asked “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?”

And then he said to the man these extremely interesting words:-

‘Rise and go; your faith has made you well”

10 were healed, but evidently only 1 was made well.

The one who said ‘Thankyou’ to Jesus.  Good morning.

– Frank Sellar