The Lost Art of Gratitude
We just got through the holidays and I don’t know about you, but I already miss them. I love Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I think it is fantastic when family and friends get together and celebrate. However, I think it is interesting that it is only one time a year that we get together and show gratitude for the blessings in our lives.
Well, we are grateful for a spell, and then something happens.
At one moment we are sitting around a decorated table telling everyone how thankful we are, and the next thing we know we form tackling innocent bystanders for the last standing Snuggie.
I think gratitude is a lost art. If not lost, then I think you’ll agree that it is at least a dying art. It seems like people are constantly asking and expecting favors from people. We expect others to meet our high demands and desires, all without even giving them so much as a nod of thanks.
I initially thought our generation was responsible for the decline of gratefulness. However, when I was reading Luke 17 in my Bible, I realized it has been this way for 2,000 years. Long before the “Baby-Boomers” “Gen-X” or “Millennials” came along, there was a group of ten men who had an encounter with Jesus Christ that changed their lives.
The story goes like this:
Jesus was walking toward Jerusalem and was at the border of Galilee and Samaria. Nothing was out of the ordinary about that, until He came to a village. As Jesus was walking to a small village in the area ten men came running out to meet him; all of whom had leprosy.
During those days, leprosy was an incurable disease and all lepers were treated as outcasts of society. They lived together in their own communities and were not allowed into the city limits.
So Jesus is walking by one day and these men come running out asking to be healed. Instead of healing them with a touch or a motion, all Jesus said was “go show yourself to the high priest.”
Keep in mind leprosy was incurable, and they had to get a clean bill of health from the high priest in order to be let into the city. As they are walking to show themselves to the high priest they were suddenly healed. Can you believe it? Miraculously healed.
Just think about the thoughts that must have run through their heads. A few minutes earlier they had leprosy, they were outcasts, and their lives were forever ruined. Now, everything they had wanted in life was restored to them.
They had to be the most grateful guys on the planet, right?
Only ten percent were. The Bible says nine of them kept running into the city while only one came back to thank Jesus……one! One out of ten men came running back to thank the person who had just changed their lives forever.
I don’t think much has changed in 2,000 years. It seems like people take other people, services, and kind gestures for granted.
Now I’m not saying that you have to sit down and write every person who does something nice for you a hand written thank you note (nice, but not necessary).
What I am challenging you to do is to open your eyes to those who you can be grateful to; a parent, a friend, a co-worker, maybe even a boss. How long does it take to send them a quick email, text, or tweet?
Look at the world around you and all the people you are involved with and show them some gratitude. The gesture of gratitude goes a long way, simply because people don’t expect it. Try showing a little gratitude this week to the people in your life, and see if it doesn’t make a difference.
By the way…..thanks for reading this article!