At least I’m not a leper. You know, one of those nine who DIDN’T turn around to thank Jesus when he healed them at the village in Luke 17. They didn’t get a very good place in Bible history. I wonder if any of those ungrateful nine had a moment where they suddenly thought, “Oh, man! I forgot to say thank you, and now he’s gone! I can’t believe I did that!” Now I’m starting to feel like a leper. You know, one of those nine who DIDN’T turn around to thank Jesus.
Thanksgiving in my passport country is a week away. My mom just bought a 24 pound turkey for our celebration, and I’m hoping we’ll have equal parts stuffing and mashed potatoes. Thanksgiving ends up being a lot about the food. People have always had a tendency to turn away in pleasure at the acquiring of good things and forget to adequately say, “Thank you.”
In today’s modern world, few people still face the horrors of leprosy, though it still exists and slowly eats away at lives. Most of us, however, deal with the less visible disease of ungratefulness. I’m so quick to dig into the stuffing, and so I abbreviate time for “thanks.” Your “stuffing” might be a new relationship, good health, children, an awesome house, comfort, a retirement fund, or education. It’s so easy to do what the lepers did and run off with our prize, without time to thank Jesus.
God’s culture calls us to pay out Thanks where it is due.
“Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments … are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:7-10).
Maybe I want to be a leper, and maybe you do, too. You know, the one, the one who left the party and turned around and thanked Jesus. Yeah, that’s the one. In order to pay out Thanks to our Lord, we have to step away from the crowd, take the time to give Him our attention, and verbalize our thanks. A few simple changes in our habits this week will prepare our heart for “Thanks-giving.” Begin by practicing these steps with your family, co-workers, a cashier, a waiter, or a teacher. They might look at you like you’re a leper at first … and that’s a good thing!
How to reclaim giving thanks
- Stop and tell yourself what has been done for you
- Turn and look at the one who blessed you
- Use all 5 parts: 1) Thank 2) you 3) for 4) verb: _______________ 5) object of their verb: ______________
Refuse to use “thanks slang” like “Thanks man” or “Hey thanks” or “Thanks.”
It’s not wrong to just use our common “Thanks,” but it’s only giving a little of the due honor, and we lose the full impact of blessing. It would be like having one bite of my mom’s turkey, when there’s a whole 24 pounder calling my name. Why not indulge someone who has served you or the Lord Himself with the fullness of a statement of gratitude?
It’s the leprous thing to do.
Thank YOU for being a reader here on Come Have a Peace. You bless me by coming to share in considering how God’s truth brings peace to our days and shines light on the too-often dim path of how to walk out our faith. I appreciate you!