It’s Somewhat About Please and Thank You

Thursday, November 07, 2013 Posted by Debbie Legg

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I’m not always the best at saying “Please” and “Thank you,” nor am I always terrific in encouraging my kids to say them, but maybe I should be.

It’s not simply that using them is “good manners” and not using them is “rude.”  It’s the implication, the motivation behind them, that is important.

“In their purest forms, ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ signal that this is a request for a favor, not a demand that a debt be paid.  ….They're supposed to be ways of acknowledging that compliance with a request is something of value for which the speaker is at least grateful if not indebted--not something the speaker is entitled to or owed.”  Jeremy Sherman, PhD

And so, the inverse would be that by not using “please” and “thank you” we signal a demand, a payment for something owed.


Dare I say that the entitlement mindset we see increasingly in our culture could do with a healthy dose of humility and gratitude?   Might adding “please” and “thank you” back into our communication help us acknowledge that the other party is more than our personal vending machine? 

Even more, where does God fit in all of this?  Do we need a more gracious demeanor in approaching Our Provider, Our Healer, Our Savior?  Granted, we seem fairly good with “Thank You, God,” but when is the last time we asked Him something, please?

After all, He owes us absolutely nothing.  We owe Him absolutely every single thing.  It can only help to be more aware of our motivations and attitudes as we approach the Throne of Grace. 

Please, let’s take this opportunity to think not only about what we say, but how and why we say it.   A little gratitude, expressed by these three little words, can go a long way in growing our hearts toward God, and each other.

Thank you.

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