Monday, November 7, 2016
A well known biblical account found in the 17th Chapter of Luke pictures a human attitude we all see on a regular basis. I am referring to ingratitude. In the story, Jesus healed ten lepers who cried out to Him to have mercy on them in a village outside of Jerusalem. He instructed them to go show themselves to the priests in accordance to the Jewish law which stated that only the priests could declare a leper cured. As they were on their way, and even before they saw the priest, they were all cleansed of their leprosy. However, only one of them came back to thank and worship Jesus personally. Christ then said: “Were there not ten cleansed, but where are the nine?” (verse 17)
Times and customs have changed since that day over two thousand years ago, but one thing has not; people are still the same. I bet if some would have pointed out to the nine their apparent ungratefulness after they were healed, most of them would have denied it, even resented the accusation. One may have said he was going to come back after his visit to the priest but Jesus was no longer around. Another may have said he didn’t realize that he was healed until after the priest declared it, and still another may have replied: “Jesus knows my heart; He knows that I am grateful even though I didn’t say it.” Heard this last line before? Obviously, only the one who came back to worship and thank Him publicly did the right thing, else Jesus would not have said “where are the nine?” Therefore, it should be obvious to everyone that Jesus’ question indicates that God expects people to openly express their gratitude to Him, as well as to others.
Before we point the finger at these ungrateful nine, how good are we at expressing our gratitude? Are we like the many who assume people know they are grateful even if they don’t say the words; those who pretend to live by the unwritten law that “actions speak louder than words”? To be honest, that adage is correct, but we have to admit that a “thank you” attached to our actions would be better still. With some reservations, I can understand how some folks may find it difficult to utter such phrases as “Please forgive me” ,“I was wrong”, or even “I love you.” A simple “thank you” on the other hand, should be as easy for us as drinking water. Don’t hesitate to openly and publicly express your love and gratitude to others, but especially to God. And if such a thing is hard for you, remember that with God all things are possible. Ask Him, trust Him, and He will help you.
Today’s verse: (Colossians 3:15 - NLT) “And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.”