How To Publicly Thank Jesus

Last night I attended our local “Judge of the Year” awards banquet.

The judge that won is a Christian. I’ve known him for many years and knew he was a Christian.After last night, all 220 attorneys and judges in attendance know he is a Christian.

Toward the end of his acceptance speech the judge publicly thanked Jesus for what He had done in his life. He did a pretty good job. Most people don’t.

You know what I’m talking about. The mic is shoved in their face after a big win or exceptional athletic performance and they say, “I just want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” By the time they get to “Lord,” my eyes are glazing over.

Why? Because it’s become a cliche. It doesn’t mean anything any more. Usually I get the feeling the speaker is rubbing the bottle hoping the genie will emerge.

If I’m feeling that way–and I’m sympathetic to the cause–I can only imagine how the anti-religious cynic or typical non-Christian is reacting.

All this got me thinking about how to properly publicly thank Jesus. The answer is…like you would anyone else.

If you alway said, “I just want to thank Bob Smith,” but said nothing more, people would begin to think you were saying it out of some undisclosed obligation, like Ricky Bobby perfunctorily thanking his sponsors.

If you ever get the chance to thank Jesus publicly, explain why you are thanking Him. That is, after all, what people are interested in, not that you thank Him, but why.

Here’s an example:

“You’ve just heard _______ say a lot of great things about me, about what a positive influence I’ve had in his and other peoples’ lives. I’m flattered and I’m encouraged, but I would not be honest if I didn’t tell you I feel a bit like a fraud. You see, I’ve known for a very long time that I’m actually pretty selfish. I’ve cared more about myself and less about others than I should. But a number of years ago, when I gave my life to Jesus, He showed me how selfish I really was. He also showed me who He really was. And it made me want to be a better person, to be more like Him. I’ve got a long way to go, a very long way to go, but this award tonight tells me, if nothing else, that I might be headed in the right direction. And for that I thank you and I thank Him.”

This is just an example. You can probably do better. But it’s authentic, it answers the “Why” question and might get people wondering who Jesus is, which is, after all, the whole point of giving Him a public shout-out.

Next time you get the opportunity to publicly thank Jesus, explain why you are thanking Him. Your audience will be more engaged and Jesus will be more honored. GS

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