As the last post for May, I just wanted to take a moment to get into some of what the bible says or presents regarding gratitude. I want to go into some bible stories.
LEPER (LUKE 17:12-19)
Leprosy was a serious thing back in the day. It was so contagious that lepers were not permitted to engage in society. Not even a little bit. They couldn’t go to synagogue. They couldn’t be with their families. They couldn’t even get a hug. And because of that, it mattered not who was Jew or Samaritan… or any other prejudices because they had been cast out from mainstream society.
In this story, we have ten lepers that Jesus healed on their way to go to the priest. Only one leper recognized what had happened and he wasn’t a Jew. He was a foreigner and a Samaritan. He knew his status, and in spite of that, he went back to Jesus to thank Him. The bible says he fell on his face. He was overcome by what Jesus had done for him; His whole life had been given back to him, just by being healed of a disease.
Today we don’t physically throw people out of society for having a disease, so maybe the significance of the story is lost on us. But one of the simplest things we can do to show gratitude is to just say thank you. Out of 10 lepers, only one went back to say thank you Jesus. Let’s be part of the 10% of the afflicted who say thank you when healed.
Ruth (THE ENTIRE BOOK OF RUTH)
Before I get into the story, I want to make a shameless plug for my own biological father’s book on the story of Ruth. And remember, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. You can find his book here:
Now that we’re done with that, the story of Ruth is very incredible. First of all, I would’ve left Naomi long ago. Secondly, I think it’s very rare for people to convert to another faith or travel away from their families for a stranger, and it was even rarer in those times. Then when given the opportunity to go back to her life as it was, Ruth is like no thanks, your people are my people and your God is my God now. If that isn’t an expression of living out life in gratitude to God and to others’ faithfulness towards us, I don’t know what is. The other thing is without Ruth, Naomi would’ve died. The sole source of economic stability for women back in those times was marriageability. Naomi’s days for remarrying were over and she might have been able to survive on people’s charity, but most likely she would have died. So Ruth’s gratitude was lifesaving. She also expressed gratitude to Boaz; the bible said she fell on her face—- like the leper earlier. Seems like gratitude involved a lot of falling on your face.
Let’s not throw people under the bus or leave them to die today. While you may think that’s extreme, it’s not. Today there are many without what they need to survive— many of whom are in very close proximity to you: either family or friends or geographically. I think one of the greatest lessons of the pandemic is that we need community for survival. Gratitude also means helping others and allowing yourself to be helped.
DANIEL (Daniel 6)
Let’s talk about Daniel. Daniel’s faithfulness to God was so famous that people set a trap for him. They knew that he openly talked to God three times a day facing a direction with windows open. They set him up.
Daniel remained steadfast. He knowingly broke a law the next day when he continued his prayer routine. He could have done it in secret. He could’ve been like you know what the king has been kind to me, let me not offend him. He did not do any of that.
Let’s not let our gratitude for others get in the way of our gratitude toward God. Let’s not let our fear of others get in the way of our relationship with God. Let’s go out and be blessed, and engage in a life of gratitude.