Monday, 14 October 2013

The Attitude of Ingratitude

You would probably have said thank you several times today. Whether you say thank you, "meda ase", or "merci", it is important that we give thanks when due. It is uncultured not to say thank you.

At one time Jesus who had many times asked people to keep quiet after healing them was rather disappointed that only one out of ten people he had cleansed from leprosy came to say thanks (Luke 17:11-19) Jesus Heals Ten Men With Leprosy

It is interesting to note that simple words "Go and show yourselves to the priests" was so powerful to heal ten men of leprosy. Thankfully, we don't live in a society where we have to ban people because they have certain sickness. However, there are many people who are suffering as direct consequences of some illness. Such people are hoping and praying that one day Jesus or indeed Holy Spirit will pass through their hospital wards or homes for them to request Christ's mercy on them.

                                Where are the other nine?
A very important part of the text is why the other nine failed to come and say thanks to Jesus. I am sure the only foreigner (Samaritan) who came to say thanks might have tried to convince them to come with him with to thank Jesus.

                          Why did they refuse to say thanks?
I can only think of one reason- they focused so much on what they were going to get not what they had to give. By they seeing the priests and declaring them fit, they would then have their former status restored. They will now become normal citizens just like others. They can now seek employment, earn an income, seek positions, and get married. They thought they have lost so much fun and all other entitlements and couldn't wait to have those things back. What they had to give wasn't on their mind at all.

                           Godlessness in the last days
Paul was right when he predicted Godlessness in the Last Days. Many people only care about what they can get not what they can give. The attitudes Paul mentioned in his second letter to Timothy are so evident in our society today. The one tenth statistics wouldn't surprise many people today. If all we care is what we can get then what society are we building? If as children, parents, congregation, partners, citizens all we care is what we can get then we are building a situation which can't be sustained.

                         What should I thank God for?
Do you look at yourself and think there is nothing really in your life to be grateful to God? May be you haven't really thought of counting your blessings. If you count them one by one you will be surprised what God has done for you. Have you or a family member in the past few years had to;
  • die of starvation?
  • go hungry so that your children could have food?
  • flee from war or poverty only to die in a capsized boat on the Mediterranean sea?
Do you realise that all the above are regular occurrence in some people lives?

                        How should express my thanks to God
You can thank God in many ways including the following;
  • Worship and prayer
  • Praise
  • Giving (money, time , skill)
                       Anything to gain from thanking God?
Note the two "conditions" of the Samaritan who thanked Jesus. At the time he was returning to thank Jesus he was "cleansed" of leprosy. After thanking Jesus he was declared "well". The other nine went away cleansed. The only who came to say thanks went away a step further, being made well. Will you only be a receiver or a giver?