Read: Luke 17:1-19
“Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine?” Luke 17:17
Jesus heals ten men stricken with a skin disease that caused them to be outcasts in their society. Only one comes back to say thank you.
I once heard a pastor say that gratitude not expressed was ingratitude. How right that is! Jesus is stunned that 10 guys got the miracle of a lifetime and only one came back to say thank you.
Not only did their skin condition clear up, but they were able to go home to their families, hug their mom, kiss their kids, and be welcome in their home and community. They were able to rejoin society and go to the temple again, have a job, and reconnect with friends. The long and the short of it is… Jesus changed their lives completely.
But only one of them came back to say thank you. Now I’m sure that the other guys were grateful – they had been healed and probably hadn’t seen their families in years. They were in a hurry to get home. Jesus would understand – right?
I’m sure Jesus did understand, but even Jesus seems to appreciate gratitude. The other guys were grateful no doubt, but they failed to express it and so even for Jesus it came across as ingratitude.
Most people can relate to both sides of this story. I know I can. There have been times when people whom I have helped or blessed or gone out of my way to encourage have walked away and said nothing. I don’t hold it against them, I usually understand, but it does have a slight sting of ingratitude. When someone turns around and says thanks, it makes all the difference in the world to my heart.
On the other hand, there are times when people do things for me and I find myself “too busy” to express thankfulness. Surely they understand how much I have on my plate and how appreciative I am in my heart. But the truth of the matter is that it comes off as ingratitude, unless I actually express my gratitude.
Don’t miss the power of not just a thankful heart, but a thankful act. If it mattered that much to Jesus, it matters even more to us mere mortals.
So how are you at expressing gratitude? Cards, gifts, or just a heartfelt thank you may seem trivial but they’ll go further in building friendships than you could ever imagine. I would go so far as to say that expressing gratitude is a Christian virtue that we all need to lean into and develop.
Make a quick list of people you are grateful to and express it this week. And don’t forget God… of all the people who deserve our thanks, He is at the top of the list.
Father – thanks for loving me, for sending Jesus to save me, and for changing my life. I am grateful indeed and I worship You. Help me to be a grateful person in word and deed and forgive me for not expressing gratitude in the past when it was due. Please help me do better from here… in Jesus’ name, amen.