Being thankful is definitely a good thing. It means you are pleased or relieved with things. But being grateful is the act of showing appreciation for the things that you’re thankful for. This week of Thanksgiving isn’t just about being thankful for the blessings in your life, but rather about thanks-giving! About showing your thanks to those others around you.
The physician Luke, tells a story in his gospel about 10 lepers that had an encounter with Jesus one day. In the 17th chapter, we see these men, who have been dealing with a horribly debilitating disease, cry out to Him to have mercy on them. They are mental, physical, and spiritually depleted. And in a final cry moment of desperation, they plead with God for help (that’s a writer I’ll save for another time… God should never be your last hope!).
Jesus had mercy on them and told them to go show themselves to the priest, as they would be cleansed on the way. And just as Jesus said it would happen, while on their way to see the priest, all ten were healed! A feat that I imagine all were thankful for! No longer would they continue to rot from the inside out. No longer would they be forced to live in isolation alone. No longer would they be cast aside to die. Being thankful was never in doubt. But…
Here’s where we see a thankful heart, showing gratitude. Luke continues in verse 15, that “One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, ‘Praise God!’ He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done.” ONE out of the ten, who were all thankful, bothered to show gratefulness. With this, “Jesus asked, ‘Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?’ And Jesus said to the man, ‘Stand up and go. Your faith has saved you.’”
I encourage you, as you celebrate Thanksgiving this week, use this as an opportunity to be more than just thankful. Take the time to show that you are grateful. Acknowledge a family member or friend and the role they have played in your life. Take the time to help out the local food pantry with a box of stuffing or better yet by serving a meal. And most importantly, give thanks to God for the blessings in your life, both seen and unseen. For the things you have and the opportunities yet to come.
We can all be thankful… But better yet, let’s be grateful!
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our positive thoughts contributor.