Have you ever heard a statement and it made you stop and think? Well, this statement, an attitude of gratitude would interrupt you. So what does it mean? Well, attitude is the way what you think influences what you do. Gratitude goes deeper than just being thankful; it involves appreciation and acknowledgement for kindness rendered.
Gratitude is a lost art. People are so concerned about their wellbeing, that they have no time for anyone or anything else; not even time to say thank you. One might think that lack of gratitude is a modern day problem, but it’s not. Jesus encountered that problem in Luke 17:11-19. Jesus entered a village. In that village, were ten men with leprosy standing afar off. They were unclean so they were unable to participate in social gatherings.
They understood the loneness of living in isolation. They were ready for a change. Everything they heard about Jesus told them that He could make a difference in their lives. The law prohibited them from joining the crowd so they projected their voices to get Jesus’ attention. Their request was simple; “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” In other words, heal us.
Jesus responded by telling them to go and show themselves to the priest. You see, they needed the priest to pronounce them clean so that they can reenter society. They did not take the time to analyze how a trip to see the priest would benefit them. These men obeyed and began their journey. On their way to the priest, they experienced cleansing. Their leprosy was gone. Put yourself in their shoes for a moment, what would you do? I’m sure that everyone would respond by saying, “I would return and give thanks.” In other words, I would have an attitude of gratitude.
Yet, just one individual returned to say thank you. Jesus asked him, “Where are the other nine?” Jesus knew where they were but he wanted to draw attention to their lack of gratitude. They wanted healing and they received it, nothing else mattered. Before we condemn the other nine individuals for their response, take some time and reflect. “Is that the way I behave when I receive something from God? Am I so consumed by the gift that I forget the giver?”
Sadly, in many lives, this is the attitude. How do I know? Their behavior reflects their attitude. I understand that stressful situations are part of life. The need for self preservation is strong. It leaves little time for anyone or anything else, even God. Yes, things do not always go according your plan. God knows that it’s not the right time to buy that house because your company is unstable and so He blocks the sale. You are hurt. In time you will see how that blocked sale was the best thing for you. In your disappointment, give thanks.
If you struggle with an attitude of gratitude, look at David. He wrote many Psalms talking about the goodness of God. In Psalm 7:17 AMP he said, “I will give thanks to the Lord according to His righteousness and justice, And I will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.” David expressed his thankfulness to God. His feelings directed his behavior and he was showing appreciation for the kindness he received from the hands of God.
This fast-paced life, leaves little or no time for anyone. Carve out some time to spend with God. Take a moment and come before Him with an attitude of gratitude. I cannot speak for you, but I certainly do not want to behave like the nine who neglected to say thanks. I want to come before God with an attitude of gratitude.