I’ve spent the past three days researching and writing on the topic of gratitude. I love, love, love the insights learned, and now I’m accountable to apply them to my life. A blog’s too short to write about everything I’ve discovered, but I can elaborate a bit on one point. It revolves around the story of the 10 lepers.
Luke 17:11-19 tells about 10 men who’d been ostracized from society because they suffered with the worst disease known to mankind at that time. When Jesus showed up, He felt compassion on them and healed them. Imagine the implications for them!
They could now return to their families, kiss their wives and hug their kids. Their days as beggars were over, and they could return to meaningful work. They no longer faced a slow and agonizing death. Their bodies were healthy and well, no longer reeking of rotting flesh.
Jesus gave them a second chance at life. “Go show yourself to the priest,” He said. And off they ran. Only one paused, turned, and retraced his steps to say thanks.
Here’s the insight that struck me: Ten lepers received the same blessing. Nine dashed away, no doubt excited beyond words about their new lease on life. But only one connected the gift with the Giver and did something about it.
Which attitude and behavior do we most often emulate?
Every person on earth breathes oxygen every day. Without it, we would die. Do we connect the gift with the Giver and offer thanks?
We eat food several times a day. Do we connect the gift with the Giver and offer thanks?
We sleep with a mattress, pillow, and blankets. Do we connect the gift with the Giver and offer thanks?
Many of us own several translations of the Bible. Do we connect the gift with the Giver and offer thanks?
Interestingly, Jesus asked the grateful leper a question: “Didn’t I heal ten lepers? Then where are the other nine?” This implies that Jesus expected the men to connect the gift with the Giver and express gratitude. And rightfully so, considering what He’d done for them. Unfortunately, it’s not something the majority do.
Francis Shaeffer said, “The beginning of man’s rebellion toward God was and is the lack of a thankful heart.” When we fail to connect the gift with the Giver, we basically take the credit for the good things we experience. We may even, without realizing it, be assuming an attitude of entitlement. But a thankful heart recognizes God’s goodness and role (and the role of other people, too) in our experiencing daily blessings.
Let’s put this into practice. For what are you grateful today?
When I thanked God for my “position” here, the burden of my situation lifted from me. I then sensed God’s blessing, and I found that I have a life given by God, and he will provide and strengthen me as I abide in Him and give thanks daily.
I also began to recognize just how blessed we are, with air to breathe which is not polluted or poisoned, and a home with good stuff inside and clean water to drink—–right out of the tap. Today we have fresh produce from the Farmer’s Market; I have my family, and an air-conditioned home. Tonight I can lounge in a bath and sing praises to God, and have a comfy bed to sleep in after reading with my family in the Psalms and praying.
I am every thankful for the output of Grace Fox and to know of her sharing with others to help them in their lives. I give thanks today for life and breath and all these things. Hallalujah. We serve an awesome God!!!!!
That’s the attitude, Marge! We are soooo very blessed here compared to the majority of the world’s population. Even when we think we’ve got it tough, we’re likely far more prosperous et al than billions of other people. We can ALWAYS find something for which to be thankful.