Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Gratefulness as Duty

     How pathetically short I fall when it comes to gratefulness. It doesn't flow out of a sincere heart.     
     The parable of Jesus healing the 10 lepers (Luke 17:12-19) is a great story about gratefulness...or the lack thereof. Jesus healed 10 lepers yet only one came back to thank Jesus. How sad.

     I don't want to be like the 9 lepers. They got a negative report. They didn't get the praise from Jesus. I want the praise from Christ. I want to hear "Well done good and faithful servant" I don't want anything negative said about me. Besides, we all know people like to give to grateful people. Maybe if I'm not grateful, God won't bless me or He will take away the blessings He has already given me??? So my thinking went. And so I purposed to be grateful and always thank Him.

     I don't think that's the lesson Christ wanted me to get out of the parable. I realized for so long I was being "grateful" out of duty and fear instead of a thankful heart.

     Looking at the heart of the matter probably would have been a better idea. Why did only one leper come back? What was different about him compared to the others? I'm not sure. But one thing I do know is I want to be more like the one who did come back. Yet I know I can't force it to happen. It has to be Christ working in me.

    I'm sure of this though, I definitely don't want to give thanks out of fear or duty or "trying to do the right thing". I want to do it because its genuine and its who I am, because it's from the heart.

     I'm going to "attempt" to keep a Gratefulness Journal and record the things I am really and truly thankful for. Not because I have to, but because I want to. My only rule: I can only write what I'm truly grateful for and I can't write anything I'm not ;-) I will not write anything on the list I feel it is my "christian duty" to be thankful for :-P

      First on my list: Christ has shown me that my Christian walk is about Him and a relationship with Him. Not standards. Not rules. But Him. What a difference it has made in my life. What Joy it has given me! What a burden Christ has lifted. Hallelujah!!! :-) :-) :-)

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