Why is it we have to be taught to say “thank you?” Is it a cultural thing or is it just our human nature that makes us think we deserve some kindness or gift? As children grow up, parents are continually reminding their offspring: “now, what do you say?” when they receive something. I can remember my own mother asking me this question time and again. Children can be stubborn when they know what to say but just don’t want to say it. They suddenly go deaf to their parent’s question.
As adults, we should have this ingrained in us. “Thank you” should roll off our tongue. I think I do pretty well in this department when someone does something nice for me. However, am I so inclined when it’s just the everyday blessings from a loving God? The sun shining on a fall afternoon. The beautiful picture of painted leaves on a crisp fall morning. The rolling waves on a beautiful beach. The pleasure of God filling me with breath every morning. It’s the little things that go unnoticed in a hurried life. After hearing a message on Sunday, I began to ponder the words of Jesus when He cleansed the ten lepers. “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” (Luke 17:17)
Maybe the men who were running toward the priest were praising God as they ran. They just didn’t take the time to come back to Jesus. The Samaritan however, had a different outlook toward his healing. The men from Israel were going to be accepted by the priest, but the Samaritan would have been rejected. Samaritans were hated by the people of Israel. The Samaritans were half Jewish and half Assyrian. They were not considered to be equal with the Jews. But the faith of this one man was evident as he went with the others. He was told to go, so he went even though he knew he would be rejected by the priest. He went anyway.
When he encountered Jesus, his whole life was changed. Not only did he get new skin, he got a new faith in the One who heals. When the man recognized his healing, he ran back and threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. Jesus said it was by his faith that he was healed. The Samaritan was made whole. He was physically healed, but I believe he was spiritually healed first.
Another time was noted in the Scriptures when Jesus was dining with a group of Pharisees. A woman anointed Jesus’ feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. Then she poured expensive perfume on them. The Pharisees viewed this act with indignation. They knew this woman’s many sins. The woman knew her position as well. Yet, she came to the One who heals. Jesus recognized her heart. She poured out her heart on his feet. Jesus said to the woman “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” (Luke 7:50)
When we recognize the One who heals, we have a new appreciation for the new life we have been given. We are naturally more thankful. It is an overflow of the heart. Jesus said that the one who has been forgiven much will love much (my paraphrase Luke 7:47). Our gratefulness comes from a changing heart. A grateful heart isn’t natural; it’s supernatural. It is the work of the Holy Spirit. When we encounter our Lord, we are changed. Gratitude will supernaturally flow from us because we recognize the One who has forgiven us for our many sins. This alone is enough to offer praise to God for every little detail of His overflowing blessings. We have been forgiven much. Let us go out and love more. In this act of kindness, we will show the world how truly grateful we are for a loving Father who gave so much to us. He sent His Son to save us. Your faith has saved you; go and sin no more.
Thank you Jesus. Thank you that we don’t earn anything, but by your grace and mercy we have new life. Faith as small as a mustard seed changes everything. Praise to God the Father. Praise to God the Son. Praise to God the Spirit – three in One. “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty. Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” Let everything that has breath praise His name! Amen! Amen!
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thank to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100:4-5