There is a humorous story of a little boy who attended a friend’s birthday party. His mother instructed him to thank his friend’s mother after the party. As the party ended, another child was thank the mother, and she replied, “Oh, don’t mention it!” Later, the boy explained to his mother that he planned to extend thanks—but upon hearing the mother’s response, he kept his mouth shut.
Make no mistake—expressing and showing gratitude is always important, even when people say it isn’t necessary. This is beautifully illustrated by Abraham’s expression of thanks after the rescue of his nephew Lot.
“After Abram returned from his victory … Melechizedek, the king of Salem and a priest of God Most High… Blessed Abram with this blessing: ‘Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High, who defeated your enemies for you’ Then Abram gave Melechizedek a tenth of all the goods he had recovered” (Gen. 14:21-20, NLT).
Abraham knew his victory was rooted in God’s help. To express his thanks he gave “a tenth of all the goods.”
The psalmist urged a generous acknowledgement of God’s goodness. “O nations of the world, recognize the LORD; recognize that the LORD is glorious and strong. Give to the LORD the glory he deserves! Bring you offering and come into his courts” (Ps. 96:7-8).
Whether you are enjoying a victory or facing a battle, a generous expression of gratitude is appropriate. And faithfully giving a tithe or even more through your church expresses ongoing thanksgiving to God.