The Gift of Gratitude

Last night in our student ministry, we talked about the gift of gratitude.  It shocks me how many times I can just overlook those two powerful and thoughtful words: "thank you."  Luke 17:11-19 talks about when Jesus healed ten people who had a skin disease and only one returned to say thanks.  Shocking that one would just continue to go about their merry way after having their life totally changed.

I don't know about you, but I seem to struggle with giving this gift of gratitude at times.  I've come up with a list of reasons why people don't give the gift of gratitude more often.

  1. We are too busy. This seems to be the one that gets me the most.  You have so many things on your plate that the saying "thanks" seems to get pushed under that to-do pile on your desk.  Maybe this would be a good reason to take some things off of our plate so that we have the time to give the gift of gratitude to those who deserve it.

  2. We don't see the importance. Many times we don't see the importance in the gift or task that was given to us.  We think about it in our heads, but the thanks never finds its way to our lips because we didn't see the importance of doing it.  Thinking it and saying it are not the same thing.  People cannot read your mind and see how thankful you are for something.  So let them know and remove any doubt.

  3. We aren't thankful. Let's just be honest.  Many times we don't show our gratitude to others because we aren't thankful.  That may sound harsh, but it's the truth.  Whatever was done for us was not wanted, but still it was done.  Instead of pouting or murmuring about what was done for us, take time to see the time, thoughts, and effort put in to what was done for you.

One interesting nugget from the story in Luke was verse 19.  While ten people had their skin diseases healed, only one was truly made whole - the one that took time to say "thank you."