Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, traveling between Samaria and Galilee, when he came across ten lepers who were living together because they had been separated from their families (Luke 17:11-19). They had heard of Jesus, so when he came by, they began to cry out to them, “Jesus, Son of David, have Mercy upon us.” When Jesus saw them, he said, “Go show yourselves to the priest.” As they left, they were healed. Nine of them ran into town, but one came back to Jesus, falling at his feet giving thanks. Jesus says, “Were not ten healed? Where are the other nine? But go, your faith has made you well, go in peace.” I’ve always wondered about those nine who didn’t come back to say thanks. I don’t think Jesus was upset or angry about it, I just think he was sad because they missed the greatest gift. Ten people were healed, but only one was made well.
It’s a question worth asking, “Are you grateful only if you get what you want?” Three things to consider when it comes to gratitude.
#1 GRATITUDE DOESN’T= GETTING WHAT YOU WANT
First of all, gratitude does not come when you get what you want, it comes when you recognize what you’ve received. I believe this one leper came back because he recognized he’d been given a gift, he had not earned it and he didn’t do anything to deserve it or make it happen; it was God’s gift to him and he recognized that God had blessed him, it was a gift, and that’s what why he came back to Jesus, and I think from then on he would be able to have his eyes open to see the blessings that he would receive, life had not gone the way he planned, now he’d received these gifts. Do you see the gifts you receive?
#2 SHARING WITH OTHERS
When you recognize you’ve received a gift, you want to share it with others. When you begin to share, you will find an incredible joy that begins to come your way. I really believe that the one leper who went back to Jesus would have gone home to bless the lives of others who were lonely, isolated, sick and struggling because he knew what that felt like. I have a feeling he would have found a way to bless others because that is just how it works! When you’re grateful, you start to see the needs of others whom you can bless.
Every one of us has something we can share right now, and maybe the greatest gift you can share is out of your deepest pain, whatever your greatest struggles and hurts have been in life, that’s where you have the ability to reach out and to bless somebody else.
#3 LIVING IN THE MOMENT
When you start living that spirit of gratitude, you learn to live in this moment with a spirit of joy and peace. Grateful people are more peaceful people, they know a joy living in the present moment, no matter the circumstances. When you’re grateful and you remember to give thanks to God, Jesus said, you’re also blessed.
To live in a spirit of gratitude means you recognize what you have received and you naturally begin to see the needs of others and share. It allows you to live in the moment with a spirit of joy and peace.