One of the Nine
How was your Thanksgiving? I hope you had a wonderful time gathering with family and friends. If you’re like me, your belly is still full. And you have lots of leftovers. Did you take time to share, or at least think about the things you’re thankful for? It’s kind of sad that we need a holiday to remind us to count our blessings.
The mindset of our culture is one of entitlement. That we somehow deserve all the good in our lives and should even have more of it. Humility and gratefulness are rarely seen. And it’s taking its toll on our society.
There’s an account in the New Testament that I believe accurately reflects the prevailing attitude in our country. Seeing ourselves in it can be upsetting, but necessary, if we want to become more thankful. It’s found in Luke 17:11-17:
On the way to Jerusalem he [Jesus] was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine?” (ESV)
There was a time when theses verses angered me. I was outraged that only one returned to thank Jesus and praise God for healing them. But now it horrifies me that too often, I am one of the nine. When I grumble about having to clean my house instead of being thankful that I have a home. When I’m aggravated by the slow cashier in the grocery store instead of rejoicing that I have the ability and means to get the food we need. When I’m annoyed at the alarm clock for awakening me instead of praising God for the gift of a new day. If I’m not careful, the lie that “I deserve…” steals my joy. It keeps me from appreciating my blessings or ever being satisfied. And it hinders my intimacy with Jesus.
Thanksgiving has passed, but let’s be intentional about remembering that Every good and perfect gift is from above (James 1:17 NIV). And be thankful.
Just something I’m trying to implement along the way.