The late president of Wheaton College, V. Raymond Edman, wrote, "Paganism has no note of thanksgiving in its worship. Its people may have prayer wheels and make pilgrimages, but they have no song of praise. They have fetishes erected for fear of evil spirits, but they know nothing of a feast of gratitude for God's goodness. They have idols, but no ideals that show God's mercy and grace."
In Luke, chapter 17, we have record of Christ healing ten lepers, with only one returning to show his gratitude. Christ asked, "Where are the nine?" Albert Barnes wrote, "What a striking illustration this is of human nature, and of the ingratitude of man!" Matthew Henry adds, "This intimates that ingratitude is a very common sin." Further, we read in Pulpit Commentary, "The Master appears especially moved by this display. He seems to see in the thanklessness of the nine, contrasted with the conduct of the one, the ingratitude of men as a whole,'as a prophetic type of what will also ever take place' (Stier)."
The word "Thanksgiving" is used thirty times in the Bible. In the Old Testament, it is used twenty-one times as a "sacrifice of praise and worship of God," and in the New Testament it is used nine times as "grateful language to God as an act of worship." Sir Moses Montetfiore, the Hebrew philanthropist, had as the motto of his family, "Think and Thank." In the Anglo-Saxon language, thankfulness means, "thinkfulness." Thinking of all God's goodness draws forth gratitude.
Thomas Merton stated, "To be grateful is to recognize the love of God in everything He has given us – and He has given us everything." One day a man was invited to eat dinner with an old Indian, a highly respected man in the community. As soon as they sat down at the table, the man began to eat, but the Indian paused, bowed his head and gave thanks to God for the food. Then, gazing at the guest intently, the old Indian said, "Do you know what a man reminds me of who sits down to the table and eats the food that God gives him without thanking God for it?" "No," said the man abruptly, as he continued to eat. "Well," said the Indian, "the man who sits down to the table and eats the food that God gives him without thanking God for it, reminds me a good deal of the hog under a chestnut tree eating chestnuts, and doesn't so much as look up to see where the chestnuts come from."
1 Thessalonians 5:18, "In everything give thanks." Remember, "Gratitude is the highest form of repayment!"