When Jesus healed ten people, only one returned to Him to say thank you. (Luke 17:11-19) Jesus even asked where the other nine were. They were all blessed. They were all miraculously healed. They all gained life over a slow excruciating death, yet only one even bothered to come back and say thank you.
That’s horrible! It’s wrong on so many levels! But then I cringe when I realize I’m not in the 10% of people who are truly grateful. I don’t always go back and say thank you. I’m ashamed of that.
I once read it’s impossible for an ungrateful person to truly be happy. Makes sense! A lot of sense!
A small child and her mother were in a the store checkout line and a gracious, elderly lady in front of them asked if she could buy the little girl candy. The mother reluctantly agreed, but when the elderly lady gave the candy to the little girl, she refused to say thank you.
The mother gently guided, then insisted, before demanding that the little girl look the lady in the eye and say thank you. The little girl wouldn’t do it. The mother took the candy and gave it back explaining that her daughter could do without since she was ungrateful. The elderly lady smiled and told the mother how wise she was to teach the little girl the gift of gratitude at such an early age.
Maybe ingratitude is simply a knee jerk response to our selfish human nature?
Some of the happiest people I’ve ever known are grateful people! They will truly appreciate the visit, even if it is short, the gift, even if it was from the Dollar Store, or the act of service, even if it was just letting them go through a door first.
I’ll go a step further…truly grateful people don’t do what I just did and compare the size of anything by saying “even if”. They are just grateful and don’t think “even if”.
Grateful people are typically humble too! In fact, can you name any truly grateful person you who is also proud and boastful? Pride and gratitude, arrogance and thankfulness just don’t mix.
It’s interesting! It’s also, convicting.
A man who taught a boy’s Sunday School class said every Sunday one of the boys in his class would pray and thank God for his hearing and ask God to bless those without ears. It made no sense to the teacher, until he met the boy’s little brother, who didn’t have ears.
It’s usually not the big things that make someone truly grateful. It’s the little things.
It’s being grateful to see a hummingbird in the garden. It’s feeling the tickle of a lightening bug walking across your forearm. It’s visiting with an old friend about fond memories. It’s walking, even with the limp, wherever you want.
It’s being thankful to see your family, even when it’s not perfect, and laughing till hurts, and holding a puppy. It’s being able to pay your bills, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and a back that isn’t hurting as much today. It’s being able to breath freely, sitting beside the one you love, and watching children play on a swing set.
Oh to be one of the grateful 10% instead of being in the 90%!
May we live that kind of humility! May we know that kind of contentment and gratefulness! May peace that passes all understanding rest upon you, and thank you God, “for this is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad!” Psalm 118:24