A Lesson in Gratitude
The Gospel writer Luke tells of an incident in the life of Jesus in which he healed ten lepers who were begging to be healed. They all rushed away happy, jubilant and excited. Nine of those healed were so totally self centered that they never thought about the one who had healed them, only one of the ten returned to say “thank you” to Jesus. Jesus said “Were there not ten cleansed, where are the other nine?” A fair question, a question that one might well ask after a life time of being used and then forgotten. However, even though the lepers did not seem to appreciate the gift, the gift was not taken back. How many other people, that we know, have hurried off and forgotten the healer. Perhaps we, ourselves, have forgotten our benefactor after we have received some precious gift.
“As I love you, love on another” Jesus said. And His unceasing service in spite of no proper appreciation, teaches us something about the kind of love He means. Whenever we begin to lessen our acts of love and kindness to others because we don’t feel we have been properly appreciated, perhaps it is time to question our motives. Do we do good deeds so we will be noticed and thanked? Do we give for self-aggrandizements! Appreciation from others is sweet but when we give our gifts merely to receive praise, we have lost something much more sweet.
Psychologist tell us that much or most of our service may become calculated, kindness tainted with self. Sometimes when we don’t think we have thanked properly, we may cease to give altogether. Placing our concern for others on their notice of it is folly, the same folly that affects those who stop obeying the Lord’s Commandment because they fail to see an immediate reward.
We may not always be thanked or appreciated for the good things which we do. That is a fact. But don’t let that fact keep you from loving and serving. Those who can look at a planet that seems almost devoid of the Lord still pray are those who have faith in Him. Those who can serve even those who turn away with out a backward glance have really learned to love.
Remember the Lord’s words, “were there not ten cleansed? Where are the nine?” Jesus did not continue to serve in stingy spoonfuls, waiting for “thank you,” but in feasts where many of those who ate would never thank at all.
Pastor Hans Lillejord