The city I live has been declared as one of the cities with some of the rudest drivers. I’d have to admit that this is very true. Riding home the highway the other day I let a driver pass in front of me. The driver proceeded and then drove on as if no one had done anything for them. No hand gesture of thanks, a nod or anything.
This isn’t the first time this has occurred (and this isn’t the only act of rudeness shown, hence how we got the title of a rude city for drivers). It seems that common courtesy is a lost art among many today. A simple thank you goes a long way (not that’s our purpose for doing things for people). It shows that one appreciate even the simplest act of kindness one is shown. I believe if it is expressed more often our world would be a better place to live.
Why is so hard to show one’s thankfulness over anything in life? I have always believed that no one HAS to do anything for you and if they do, then one should express it with a heart of gratitude.
With this in mind my heart focused on Jesus and the time when He healed the ten lepers:
“Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ So when He saw them, He said to them, ‘Go, show yourselves to the priests.’ And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and feel down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. So Jesus answered and said, ‘Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?’” (Luke 17:11-18, NKJV)
A miracle had been done for the ten; something that seemed impossible was made possible through our Lord Jesus Christ. Their direful situation was healed and now, because of His blessings over their lives, they could resume normal societal activities and functions, for now they were made whole again.
Yet, only one seemed to appreciate it enough to say, “Thank you.” How sad is that. In their desperateness they cried out for mercy and our Lord being the compassionate Savior He is, rescued them and showed the mercy they humbly sought. But, after their healing that humility seemed to have quickly faded as they went forth in life as if no one had done anything for them.
There is a great danger in forgetting to be thankful, especially when it comes to recognizing the great work that God has done in our lives. Jesus appeared a little shocked that only one recognized the marvelous thing that was just done for them, recognizing it enough to show appreciation anyway.
When one fails to appreciate what is done for them they of themselves can begin to get prideful. Simply refusing to acknowledge that there was outside help to raise them out of a situation can make one think they have delivered themselves of their own accord and power. Being thankful means being grounded. It is recognizing that we don’t have it all together as we think we do and we need the assistance of another to help along the way.
Jesus didn’t have to stop and help them, but He did. The human side of me wants to give them the benefit of the doubt and say that maybe they were too excited that they forgot to come back and say thank you. But, I can’t because even if that were the case, Jesus explicitly pointed out their refusal to come back with an attitude of gratitude. To Jesus, there was no excuse or it would not have been recorded in the Bible this way.
Twice in Colossians 3 we are commanded to be thankful. Verse 15 says, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful,” (emphasis mine, NKJV). Also, verse 17 commands, “And what you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him,” (emphasis mine, NKJV).
1 Thessalonians 5:18 makes it super easy for everyone to understand if they should ever wonder if the situation calls for being thankful. It says, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you,” (NKJV).
How much kinder would the world be if we were all a little more appreciative to all that has been done for us? How much would God love to hear from you and I a simple, “Thank you,” throughout the day, showing Him our appreciation for the events He has covered us in our lives by His sovereignty?
God is so gracious to us; let us not take Him for granted. We may slight our fellow man once in a while (which we also need to continually watch out for and learn to do better), but don’t slight God. Give Him His due. Is it really that hard to simply stop during the busyness of our day and say, “Thank you?” Does it really cause us that much extra work to simply acknowledge what has been done for you and me with an attitude of gratitude?
What ever happened to thank you? Each of us can make an impact on our society by ushering in kindness many have seemed to have forgotten. Let us bring politeness back as being popular and do away with rudeness. Most importantly, let us NEVER forget or take for granted what God has done for us. “Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness,” (Lamentations 3:22-23, NKJV).
When the leper’s cried out for mercy, Jesus thought about them and healed them. God bless us with new mercy every single day. Let’s not forget to thank Him for that and live a life that is appreciative of all that He has done for us.