Being Thankful: The Thankful Exchange

Greg Strand – December 9, 2013 2 Comments

In one of his recent musings, Gordon MacDonald writes of the importance of giving thanks. He refers to this as “The Thankful Exchange” and he concludes that it “is an indispensable element to all healthy human relationships.”

The message behind thank you seems to be this: I am acknowledging something—a gift, a word, an action—that you have offered to me. It has added value to my life, and I am compelled to celebrate what you have done.

It may seem strange—in an article for leaders—to focus on the thankful exchange. Wouldn’t it be better addressed wherever it is that people comment on etiquette and good manners?

My opinion? The thank you exchange is an indispensable element to all healthy human relationships: friendships, marriage, family, organizations of all sizes and shapes. Neglect it, and, over a period of time, the quality of any of those relationships deteriorates.

Therefore, the thank you exchange is one of a leader’s most important actions.

I agree!

Christians, the redeemed, are thankful people. They are thankful to the Lord (1 Cor. 15:57; 2 Cor. 9:15; Col. 1:12; Heb. 12:28), and that thankfulness becomes a mark of their lives which overflows into relationships with others.

  • Are you living a life of thankfulness to the Lord?
  • Does that overflow in a life of thankfulness to others?

Greg Strand


Affectionately called “Walking Bible” by his youngest daughter, Greg Strand has a ministry history that goes back to 1982. Since that time, he has served in local church ministry in a variety of ministry capacities: youth pastor, associate pastor of adult ministries and senior pastor. He is currently the EFCA's Executive Director of Theology and Credentialing. Greg reads voraciously and never stops learning — a passion reflected in the overflowing bookshelves that spill from his library to multiple offices. And he could tell you about each of those books! His hunger for learning pales in contrast to his great love for God and for teaching the Word of God.

2 responses to Being Thankful: The Thankful Exchange

  1. That’s a welcome and often needed reminder. Thanks Greg.

    • It is good to hear from you, Scott. I am encouraged you found this helpful. May God the Holy Spirit enable us to live in this way, for God’s glory.

Leave a Reply

Text formatting is available via select HTML. <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>