by David J. Stewart
Lu:17:12: And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:
Lu:17:13: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
Lu:17:14: And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
Lu:17:15: And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,
Lu:17:16: And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
Lu:17:17: And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
There used to be times in my life when I pondered the ingratitude of people. Then I learned one day about Jesus and the ten lepers. You see friend, Jesus healed ten men with the horrible disease leprosy (and incurable in those days). One of the healed men came back to thank Jesus, but the other nine men went their selfish ways without even saying thank you. I simply cannot comprehend such ingratitude. Perhaps those nine men were so excited about their restored health that they had completely forgotten about the One Who healed them whole again. It is so typical of the people in the world today, everybody is so wrapped up in their own things that they never take out any time to thank the only true God Who created them. I do not ponder people's ingratitude anymore, I realize that it is an inherent characteristic of the sinful nature. Humanity is by nature...unthankful.
"Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened." -Romans 1:21
Have you "glorified" God in your life? To "glorify" means "to acknowledge." Have you acknowledged God's existence? God's power that created the universe? God's love that sent Christ to die upon the cross for your sins? If you have acknowledges God, then I know you are thankful for all that He has done for you. Sadly, most of the earth's population have not acknowledged Jesus Christ and have no gratitude towards the truth and live God. I am so thankful to Jesus Christ my God for all that He has done for my wretched soul. I owe Christ my life. What a wonderful Saviour! What a precious Friend! What a Redeemer!
Even Christian people have problems with gratitude. It is sad that people don't know how to say thank you anymore. I could give you many example from my own personal experiences of believers who failed to appreciate what I had done for them. I count it all gain for Christ because I gave it to Him in the first place. I give to others because I want to give to God. When we help others, we are helping God (Mark 9:41). Even some pastors are guilty of not appreciating what their people do for them. I'm not kidding! I knew a pastor who refused to say thank you to another pastor who gave him a piano because he said it came from God. How terrible! Folks, when someone gives you something, you should say thank you and mean it! I realize some pastors are younger and haven't matured yet, but saying thank you is something that you should have learned back in grade school. Pastors more than anybody should be thankful because they are leading people. Being unthankful is what the heathen are like...
"For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy," -2nd Timothy 3:2
It is refreshing to meet people who genuinely appreciate the things you do for them. You didn't do it to receive a thank you, but it is nonetheless discouraging when a pastor fails to say thank you. I expect the heathen not to be thankful. I expect the devil's crowd not to show any gratitude. I surely would think that a believer, especially someone in full-time Christian service, would exhibit a spirit of constant gratitude. Sadly, most Christians are no better than the nine ungrateful lepers who failed to say thank you to Jesus. These things ought not to be. Let us draw nearer to God in our hearts with a humble spirit of thanksgiving towards God and men.
In Jesus' name, Dave