Please Sorry Thanks

Please Sorry Thanks

Mark Batterson titles his latest book Please Sorry Thanks: The Three Words That Change Everything (Multnomah, 2023).  Mark ministers as lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D. C.  One church with multiple locations.  Pastor Batterson stresses that your words serve as both diagnosis and a prognosis.  Therefore, to change your attitude, you must change your words.  Life-giving words, then align with God’s good, pleasing, and perfect will.  As a result, the words please, sorry, thanks must become a way and a rule of life.  Most significantly, the word please is only as effective as it is authentic.  In addition, please focuses on others, empowers the other party.  Also, the power of please lives in the second person: There you are!

Hence, your legacy centers on what others accomplish because of you.  When we operate in the opposite spirit, our witness raises questions for which the gospel provides the answer.  Above all, Mark observes, asking is an art form that requires careful consideration.  Thus, the author advises that you pray it before you say it.  Then speak your please in a language that people understand.  Make sure your please is precise, timely, and personal. And it takes courage to grab a towel and wash feet.  But please packs a punch when you do!  Consequently, Pastor Batterson recommends an honest evaluation of your words.  Certainly, give God the last word — as well as the first word.

However, it’s easier to hold opinions about people than to feel empathy for them.  Yet, apology begins with empathy, with a heart that breaks for things that break the heart of God.  So, sorry also takes courage, the courage to leave your trench and get into the line of fire.  A sincere sorry, though, can move mountains of pain, shame, and regret.  Of course, there’s nothing convenient about offering a sincere apology or genuinely extending forgiveness.  But it’s worth the trip.  Furthermore, Pastor Batterson advocates this good rule of thumb: confess your own sin before you confront someone else’s sin.  Compliment before you criticize.  Because giving someone a second change resurrects faith, hope, and love.

In conclusion, gratitude centers on praising God after He does the miracle.  While faith is praising God before He does the miracle.  One secret to thanks is to savor things for the second time.  Thus, the theology of thanks cultivates profound thanks for the things we take for granted.  Faith puts God between you and your circumstances.  Above all, Mark views the goal of theology  as doxology, or worship.  Not knowledge.  For God blesses us to raise our standard of giving, not our standard of living.  Consequently, the greatest return on our investment is joy unspeakable and the peace that passes understanding.  Your future is as bright as the promises of God.  Rather than giving the Enemy a seat at your table.

As Please Sorry Thanks concludes, Mark closes with these words of encouragement:

“Let’s go back to the beginning.  If you want to change your life, you have to change your words.  Words create worlds!  Why not start with please, sorry, and thanks?”

About the author

Dave Henning


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