The other day, I was at home and needed something in the other room. My son was next to me playing.
“Hey, Buddy, could you run down to the basement and grab me my tool box?”
With a wide grin, he was bounding off down the stairs and back again, lugging the oversized tool box.
My mind on the task in front of me, I grabbed the tools needed and continued my project. Only later on did it hit me the simple words I had forgotten. “Thank you.” Only two words. How is it that they are sometimes so easy to forget?
We normally do not acts of kindness just to receive thanks. However, if we are honest, when others do not thank us, we are a bit disappointed. “I am never doing that for them again” might even be on the tip of our tongue.
Lack of gratitude is not new. It happened to Jesus 2,000 years ago. In Luke 17:11-19, we read Jesus, on His way to Jerusalem, entered a village. Ten lepers came to him, crying, “Jesus, have mercy on us!” Now lepers in Jesus’ day were to be avoided for risk of contracting the disease. But Jesus in His love responded “Be cleansed” and healed them.
You would think they would be overflowing with gratitude after a miracle like that. Actually out of the 10, only one returned to thank Him. Jesus noticed. His response, “were not ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?” How could they have failed to thank God for what He did? They did, and we do too today. What about the things we take for granted. The food on our table, clothes on our backs, our job, health, even the very breath we take, all are gifts from God.
As we enter Thanksgiving season, let’s not be like the nine who forgot. How different would our lives and attitudes be if each day we remember, if each day we woke up and thanked God for His blessings? Remember what the Psalmist said: “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget none of his benefits” Psalm 103:2.
Mike Gunnon is pastor of the Onamia Alliance Church.