Like many Americans, I used to spend Sunday evenings watching 60 Minutes. My favorite part came near the end of each week’s show, when Andy Rooney would voice his complaints and opinions about things. Since his complaints were often aimed at new things, I figured he was just a crotchety old man who didn’t like change. Now that I’m about the age that he was then, I’m finding that I’m not so crazy about change myself, and there is one societal change that I find particularly vexing.
When I was a boy, I was taught that if someone says “thank you,” the polite way to respond is to say, “You’re welcome.” In recent years I have noticed that “you’re welcome” has been replaced by “no problem,” or “not a problem.” I’m not sure why this vexes me, but in true Andy Rooney-like fashion, it does!
Maybe it is because, if we think it through, this response isn’t nearly as good. Saying “you’re welcome” after a kindness means that the person who did you the kindness feels that you are a good person who is welcome to such kind treatment. “No problem” just says, “Being kind to you didn’t inconvenience me;” it says nothing of your worthiness to be treated so well.
If God were speaking aloud these days, one wonders how He would respond when we thank Him for all the spiritual blessings we have in Christ (Eph. 1:3). I doubt He would say, “No problem, being kind to you didn’t inconvenience Me,” for the price He paid at Calvary to procure these blessings was too high. We feel He would rather respond to our thanks with, “You are welcome to such blessings.” Of course, we are not worthy of these blessings because we are good people in ourselves, but rather because of who He has made us in Christ. As difficult as it is for humble Christians to accept, now that we are children of God, we are welcome to the same treatment from God that He gives His own Son. As Paul put it, we are “joint-heirs with Christ” (Rom. 8:17), and so “how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (v. 32).
Remember every day to thank God for all that He has done for you in Christ. Anyone can thank Him for “life, and breath, and all things” of that nature, for these “He giveth to all” (Acts 17:25). Only the child of God can thank Him for “all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” If we don’t thank Him for these things, who will?
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.