(focus scripture) 15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
We tell our children to do it after someone does something nice. Employers look for it after an interview. Some think it’s rude when they don’t get it. I’m talking about the simple yet overlooked value of showing gratitude. Typically, when someone does something for you, they aren't looking for anything in return; that is called an exchange (I’ll give you something if you give me something). When I give my children a gift, I don’t need them to get me something as a sign of appreciation. When they look at me, give me a huge smile and wrap their tiny arms around me I know they are grateful. I can feel it. You know what that does? It blesses me and I’ll keep on blessing them too.
Imagine the opposite. Imagine if you gave someone a gift and they never acknowledged it or said: “Thank you”. How would you feel? When Jesus healed the 10 inflicted with leprosy only one returned. Jesus called out the fact that there were nine others but only one came back to give praise. He placed value on the importance of coming back to give thanks. This Samaritan received more than just a physical healing. Jesus told him (and only him) that his faith made him well. He received the gift of spiritual and physical healing by returning. This is something that the other nine did not get an opportunity to receive.
Think about these things…
What is your position towards God when you call on Him? Do you only pray when you need something? Do you give thanks or praise after He’s delivered you or answered your distress call?
What is your approach with others who give to you? Remember it doesn't always have to be material gifts. People give time, advice, prayers as well as the material things. They all matter and should not be taken for granted. Has someone taken the time to mentor you or pour into you? Have you returned to thank them?
There is something to be said about showing gratitude especially in this season of giving. We know that in many cases we can never repay someone for the things they have done. But let us never forget to return in some way and give thanks. This could be the one thing standing in the way of you being blessed once or multiple times.
If God places someone in your heart that you should thank, do it. If you don’t know, ask Him to reveal it to you. You can always start by thanking God for all the many blessings bestowed on you this year. You can also look for opportunities to be a blessing to others. Some call it “Paying it forward”.
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Father, I thank you. Thank you for just being God. Thank you for the wonderful gift of salvation. Thank you for providing for me. Thank you for loving me. Lord, if there is anyone who has done anything for me that I have not shown gratitude, please reveal them to me. Forgive me for taking them for granted. Provide an opportunity for me to return and thank them and show me ways that I can be a blessing to others.
In Jesus name, I pray