When Thanks is from the Heart

Oh, the heart. So many options!

– “The Telltale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe.
– “When Call the Heart” on the Hallmark channel.
– “It doesn’t matter if you win as long as you give everything in your heart.” By Michael Jordan.
– “This people draws nigh unto me with their mouth, and honors me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” Matthew 15:8 from the Bible.
– “Jesus said unto him, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.’ ” Matthew 22:37 from the Bible.

There are many sayings using the word “heart” in language today. The heart, of course, is also a physical pump in the human body that circulates blood. But when a sports player claims that their team is not playing with any “heart”, it doesn’t mean it will involve a cardiologist or hospitalization.

When a person thanks someone from their “heart”, they don’t consider blood pressure, cholesterol, of blockages. It means the deep, inner person. It means WHO the person is, and their cherished inner thoughts.

The “Telltale Heart” is a book that reveals the tremendous guilt that can affect our decisions and actions after a sinful act. “When Call the Heart” is a series on a cable channel that focuses on relationships, and the challenges of misunderstandings and troubles with communications. If a person doesn’t play sports with “heart”, they are not fighting for victory with all the inner strength and drive that they can muster.

Jesus knows how to love. He knows how to pray. He knows the value of truth, sincerity, accountability, transparency, obedience, and grace. I must confess that I sometimes say, “Thank you” to people out of just courtesy, when it should be out of intense appreciation. I use it almost in a cavalier attitude. I am wrong to do that.

With Thanksgiving coming up, the question is, “Do I really love God with ALL my heart?” Do I? Do I? How would that be measured? Not in gallons or liters. How would God measure my effort to love Him with all my heart? Does that imply that I should give so much love that there’s no more left to give? It is a question I need to wrestle to the ground. I feel that I flail around sometimes in my circumstances many times, and take my eyes OFF Him. This doesn’t mean I can’t invest time to think of paying my utility bill, going to shop for groceries, or filling my truck up with gas.

Taking my eyes off Him means I won’t see Him everywhere. Where I don’t see Him, my heart won’t be there. I need to thank Him for rude people in my life because they need a kind word, and Jesus’ love. I need to thank in a sincere way; the people at the bank, the people at the home improvement store, the pharmacy, the cleaners, the church, in weird traffic on the road, or within family structures. Not a simple “thank you” should do. We get used to the more casual, as much as we might mean it deeper. Engage the eyes of the person we are thanking. Not is some spooky stare…. But as Jesus would look into someone’s eyes.

Thanksgiving brings out many emotions; some wonderful, some painful. But true thanks needs to emulate the way Jesus thanked the Father. We need to thank Him for our very lives. Then turn to thank Him for all the other lives He has directly led into our families, circles of friendship, and in our vocations and associations.

Thank Him for what He’s done. Then thank them for what they’ve done. He placed THEM there for a reason and for a season.

“Lord, in this crazy world, there is so much to grab out attention, grab our resources, and grab our affection. Should we thank You for our cancer? Should we thank You for or financial situation? Should we thank You for our relationship status? Should we thank You for all the stress in our lives? Yes, we should thank You for all things, with our “hearts”. What or who has the power to mess with us? Satan can only do what YOU allow. And because of THAT, I will thank You from the bottom of my “heart”. The bottom means there is nothing else left to give. I apologize for NOT doing that, Lord; at so many times. I will correct that. It is a true measure of thanksgiving. And something I will never forget. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

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