I heard a story about a little boy who was handed an orange by a man trying to be kind. The boy’s mother asked, “What do you say to the nice man?” The little boy thought and handed the orange back and said, “Peel it.”
As rude as this boy in the story seems to be, what’s more shocking is that this attitude is prevalent throughout our society. Everywhere we turn we can see it filtering through this great nation of ours. We have raised a generation of self-absorbed people that are blinded to everything other than their desires and needs. We have forgotten the simple act of gratitude.
The scripture says in 1 Tim. 3:1-2 that in the last days men will be lovers of themselves and unthankful along with other selfish attributes.
I am reminded of the story of the ten lepers that stood afar off as Jesus entered a certain village. They lifted their voices so that Jesus could hear them and cried out saying “have mercy on us!” Jesus responded by telling them to go and show themselves to the priest, who had the final decision in pronouncing them clean or defiled.
As they went in obedience it says the very thing that had kept them estranged from society, a disease of cruelty and defilement incredibly dries up and they are healed. Now if this was the end of the story it would be a great lesson on obedience and God’s mercy, but it goes deeper. The story continues with the scene of only one of the ten returning to give thanks for the miracle from God. The author points out that this healed man was not a Jew but a Samaritan. He wasn’t educated in the traditions and things of God. Yet he knew enough to be eternally grateful for the life changing miracle he was given. Many times those who profess to be Christians are out-done by unbelievers.
It’s time we develop a habit of gratitude towards God ourselves. We can do that by being thankful in three simple areas. 1.) Being Thankful for Everything He has done in our lives. 2.) Being Thankful for Everything He is Doing in our lives. 3.) Being Thankful for Everything He is going to Do in our lives.
Being grateful in these areas will help develop a heart of gratitude in us. Once we learn to be grateful to God that same gratitude will flow out to others.
It truly is time to stop the madness of self-centeredness and develop a lifestyle of thankfulness, not just thanksgiving but Thanksliving!
“in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1Thes 5:18 (NKJ)