Thankfulness is not an attitude that comes naturally – even when we receive the very thing for which we ask.
We are good at wanting and asking; but how well do we show appreciation?
Ten to one, the odds aren’t good.
In Luke 17, ten lepers met Jesus and begged Him to heal them. Jesus responded, not with instantaneous healing, but with a command to act in faith.
So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. (Luke 17:14, NKJV)
God rewarded the lepers’ faith. As they went (in obedience), they were healed.
However, only one of the lepers took the time to say thank you. And that leper was a Samaritan (Luke 17:16).
What’s the big deal about Samaritans?
When Jesus referred to this healed leper, he called him a “foreigner” or a non-Jew. Today, we think of foreigners in terms of people who live in a different country.
However, the distinction between Jews and Samaritans was more than cultural. Between these two groups ran a deep-seated discord, centuries old.
Everyone knew this. John’s gospel records Jesus meeting a Samaritan woman at a well. Based on their ethnic differences, she initially rebuffed His request for water.
Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. (John 4:9, NKJV)
You get the idea. Jews and Samaritans avoided each other because they hated each other. The only reason the group of lepers included Jews and Samaritans was that their terminal disease had given them common ground.
Yet only one came back to thank Jesus – and he was a Samaritan.
A challenge for us
Does the world sometimes do a better job showing gratitude than us believers? Do people see Christians as grateful people – or as people constantly complaining?
Be a 10-percenter. When God does something in your life – big or small – redirect the praise back to Him.
The world is watching. When they see you and me, let them see Jesus.