Bottom line: By expressing gratitude we overcome sadness and cement relationships with each other – and with God.
“When one of them saw that he was healed, he came back. He praised God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked Him,” Luke 17:15.
Now look as Jesus points out the importance of expressing gratitude: He praises the Samaritan who returned to thank him. Jesus had cured ten lepers, but only one came back to say, “Thank you.”
When Jesus saw the Samaritan, He immediately wondered about the other nine men who had also been healed.
Jesus asked, “Weren’t all ten healed? Where are the other nine? Didn’t anyone else return and give praise to God except this outsider?”
Then Jesus said to him, “Get up and go. Your faith has healed you.”
Now honestly, we shouldn’t be too hard on the other nine. After all, they were doing what Jesus told them: “Go show yourselves to the priests.” They were obeying Jesus’ instructions. The Samaritan, however, obeyed a deeper law: the law of gratitude.
In our hearts, you and I know the importance of gratitude. We spend time teaching our children how to say, “Thank you,” how to write a note of appreciation. But, then we adults often fail to take the time say, “Thank you.”
Sometimes we think, “Well, the other person knows I am grateful. Why make a big deal about it?” But the other person does NOT know. Once I gave someone a gift – and then did not hear back from them. At first I assumed that this person was grateful, but then began to wonder if I had offended them, or if they even got the gift. At a much later date, our paths crossed and I asked if they received the present. “Oh, yes!” was exuberantly said, “Thank you. I really appreciated it!”
I was relieved, but that experience made me reflect on my own failures to promptly express gratitude. The Samaritan gives us a wonderful example of prompt gratitude. The person who has a grateful heart – and who expresses it in a sincere way – builds strong friendships. That applies not only on a human level, but also to our communication with God.
The power of gratitude can be seen by comparing the opposite. The opposite of gratitude is complaining. We complain because we are unhappy, ungrateful about our lives. Most of our complaining and criticizing does little good, but a word of gratitude can make someone’s day, maybe even change their life.
This week we celebrate Thanksgiving Day. It is a beautiful holiday. Jesus shows us the importance of giving thanks. By expressing gratitude, we overcome sadness, we cement relationships with each other and with God:
“Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”
Then he said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.
~ Mary Lindow ©
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|Mary Lindow has a passion for encouraging others in all generations and careers or vocations to live and express excellence through personal integrity, healthy accountability, and wise management of talents and skills. She is a sought after keynote inspirational and humorous speaker and teacher throughout the United States internationally in Ministers conferences, International Spiritual leaders Conferences, and in National and International training seminars for various organizations.|