Monday, October 9, 2017

#write31days: Why Are We Not Truly Grateful?

Yesterday we took a look at what gratitude is and examined our hearts. I don't know about y'all, but I have some really dark stuff lurking in my heart. It honestly scares me sometimes to think about it. But that's another blog post for another day. When we take an honest look at ourselves, we may find a heart of ingratitude and entitlement. We may feel like we are less than because we are so busy looking at Suzy Q's life that we cannot appreciate our own. We may be greedy or materialistic. Whatever your struggle is, at some level, we all have a sense of ungratefulness lurking behind the shadows of our hearts. But what do we do with it? 

In thinking about this struggle, this Bible story came to mind. You may know it as the story of the ten lepers: 

On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.” - Luke 17:11-19 (ESV)

Here is the bottom line from this story- most of us are just like the nine lepers who went along with their lives and forgot about Jesus. We are a fickle, frail, and forgetful people. We say we want to know God more, but we really just want Him to give us what we want. We say we want to live lives that are completely dedicated to Him, but we want the healing more than we want the Healer. The nine lepers who went on without a second thought are quite similar to us- we are a forgetful people. 

Why are we not truly grateful? Why do we so easily forget what God has done for us or who He truly is? I believe it is because we are distracted. The enemy of our souls wants so badly for us to be distracted- it is a much easier tool than getting us to commit the "big sins," so he uses it often. We are distracted by so many other things that seem shinier and better and more fun than just the simple gift of the presence of our almighty God. 

In the passage above, it says that the nine lepers were cleansed. But did you catch that the one who came back to give praise and thanks thanks was made well? I remember hearing one time that the nine lepers who were cleansed received physical healing, but the one who came back to acknowledge and thank Jesus was made well spiritually. And isn't that what we all want? To be restored to our Father when we know we've messed up? To walk with Him without anything between us and to know His peace and joy always?

Today, let's be like the one who came back to Jesus. Let's run to Him, thanking Him for what He has already done so that we may be made well and whole. 

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