Tuesday, November 23, 2010
I love Thanksgiving because it's so simple and straightforward. It's not about a lot of decorating or buying gifts. It is very basic – it's about getting together with family and friends, eating a meal (one of my favorite part), watching a little football – and most importantly, giving thanks to God for our many blessings.
In Luke 17 we read the following account.
“As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!" When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him--and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well." (Luke 17:11-19 NIV)
The purpose of my article is not to ask if you or I would be the one in the
above story who gave thanks. I’m sure we all would like to think of ourselves as the one who went back to Jesus to give thanks. Rather I am asking each one of us what percentage of gratefulness do we maintain for the good things God gives us?
The percentage of healed lepers in Luke who immediately gave thanks to Jesus was 10%. Jesus is grateful for the 10% but He comments negatively on the 90% not showing thanks. What about our lives? What percentage of thanks do we give?
Think about last week. Most of us would not have any trouble recalling ten good and wonderful blessings we experienced from the Lord during the week. Now the reflection question, “What’s your and my thanksgiving percentage rate for those ten blessings?” If I were to be honest, and I am here, my thanksgiving percentage rate probably is not much better than the one in Luke’s story: 10%.
Oh, I have my general “thank you-for-everything” prayer I fall back on to cover the week. What I tend to lack is the immediate praise and thanks when I first receive the blessing. Jesus indicates that a 10% instant-thanks-to-blessing ratio is not very good!
Let’s each one continually move our instant-thanks-to-blessing ratio toward 100%. Friends with all the blessings that God has bestowed upon us let us always approach the throne of God with Thanksgiving.
Our young people sing the words to the beautiful song, “For all that You've done, I will thank You For all that You're going to do! For all that You've promised and all that You are is all that has carried me through, Jesus, I thank You.”
Which reminds me: I am thankful for each of you, my friends, my brothers, my sisters and my family. Enjoy the holiday and be safe. Go with God.