July 12, 2017

Thank You; I’m Sorry; Please . . .

Psalm 118:1-7

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

—  Psalm 118:1

We often use certain words and phrases in our relationship with the Lord: “Thank you”; “I’m sorry”; “Please, if it is your will.” Our words flow from the nature of the One to whom we are speaking. If he were not the wonderful God that he is, our vocabulary would be different.

I remember the Soviet dictator Nikita Khrushchev standing to speak at the United Nations, taking off his shoe, pounding it on the podium, and shouting at his enemies, “We will bury you!” On another occasion Fidel Castro, visiting from Cuba, killed a chicken in his New York hotel room and spread the feathers and blood all around the room before going to the U.N. Their ideology said there is no God, and any hate-filled, belligerent words and actions were OK.

Christians use godly, not hate-filled, words when talking to fellow humans. Why should we say “Thanks!” to someone who did something nice for us, rather than just take it for granted? Why should we say “I’m sorry” when we do something wrong or hurt someone, or “Sorry to trouble you” when someone has to go out of their way to help us? Why should we praise someone for the good qualities they have, rather than being envious? Because God is love, and he sets the pattern for our relationships.

Thank you, Lord, for your love. We’re sorry for sinning against you and ­others. Thank you for the beauty of your earth and for your gift of salvation. Please bless us and help us to live for your glory and for the well-being of those around us. Amen.

About the author — George Young

George Young, a native New Yorker, worked as a taxi driver in New York City before studying to become a pastor. Then he, his wife Ruth, and their children were missionaries for many years in northeastern Japan. They worked with ministers and believers from the Reformed Church in Japan to spread the good news of salvation in Christ and ­establish new churches. Now George and Ruth are retired and live in the northeastern United States, nearer to their children and grandchildren.

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