Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Moving from the 9 to the 1!

How serious do you see an attitude of ingratitude as being?  Jonathan Swift made his feelings on this known in his great literary work, Gulliver's Travels.  In that classic work we learn that in the land of the Lilliputians, ingratitude was considered a capitol offence.  Now that is serious - maybe too serious.  But, on the other hand, perhaps we should take ingratitude a whole lot more seriously than we do today in America.

In the Bible we read a story of Jesus meeting 10 lepers.  Leprosy was considered an incurable disease in Jesus' day and resulted in a life isolated from society.  Jesus told the 10 lepers to go show themselves to the priest at the Temple.  Back then, if you felt you had been healed of leprosy you had to go to the priest at the Temple to have your healing verified.  On their way to the Temple all 10 lepers were healed.  But here is where the story takes a drastic turn.  Only 1 of those 10 lepers returned to Jesus to say "Thank You!"  When he came to Jesus, the Savior asked, "Were there not 10 lepers who were healed?  Where are the other 9?"  You can almost hear the disappointment in Jesus' words as you read the story.

Now I have no data to prove this but I seriously doubt if the percentage has changed much in our day and age.  Chances are very good that 90% of us fail to show an attitude of gratitude to God.  Why is this so?  For one thing, we are all busy which, unfortunately, causes us to not take the time to be thankful.  Second, we tend to focus more on what we don't have rather than what we do have.  We wish we had a better job so we don't take time to thank God for the job we do have.  We wish we had a nicer car or house so we don't thank God for the car and house we do have.  We wish we had more money so we don't thank God for the money we do have.  But the main reason for our ingratitude I believe is that we are born ungrateful.  Gratitude does not come naturally to us.  Think about it.  After "Dada" and "Mama" what is one of the first words children learn to say?  "MINE!"  We are born selfish.  For these reasons we tend to be part of the 90% who show an attitude of ingratitude rather than the 10% who pause to say "thanks."  

One week from tomorrow (Thursday) is Thanksgiving Day.  It's earlier this year than usual.  As a result, chances are really good that most of us will breeze through the next week and, before you know it, Thanksgiving will be over.  And when that happens, chances are real good that 90% of us will have not stopped once to pray and say "Thank You" to God for any of His many blessings.  And Jesus will be as disappointed with us as He was those 9 lepers so long ago.

So let me issue a challenge that, if you will take to heart, could make Thanksgiving 2012 the most memorable and meaningful Thanksgiving you have ever had.  There are 9 days beginning today (Wednesday) through Thanksgiving Day.  I challenge you to allow those 9 days to remind you of the 9 lepers who had an attitude of ingratitude and motivate you to not be like them.  In order to move from the 90% this Thanksgiving to the 10%, I challenge you to, starting today, take 2 minutes every day for the next 9 days (the ninth day will be Thanksgiving Day) to pause and pray, thanking God for one of His man blessings in your life.  That's 2 minutes each day for the next 9 days or a total of just 18 minutes between now and Thanksgiving Day.  How hard can that be?  Do it and I am convinced that this Thanksgiving will be the best you have ever had.

This Thanksgiving move from an attitude of ingratitude to an attitude of gratitude.  This Thanksgiving move from the 90% to the 10%.  This Thanksgiving be that one person in your family, that one person in your school; that one person where you work, that one person among your group of friends, that takes the time to come to Jesus like that leper did so long ago and say, "THANKS!"

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