I love the subject of “Common Sense” because there seems to be such a lack of it in our world today. I have written about how we are not born with common sense and we must be taught it constantly as well as reminded of it often. As I work with the youth of today I have noticed that the simple things that we take for granted as “common sense” are not being taught to children and teens. The subject that I would like to write on today is “Being grateful”. Since we are born egotistical and we grow up being self-centered it is difficult for us to be grateful. We expect others to do things for us without giving a second thought about being appreciative for what they have done. We expect our parents to provide for all of our needs and most of our wants. We expect teachers to teach us because we “deserve” to be educated. The list could go on and on. Jesus Christ Himself taught on this very subject. The Bible as a whole teaches much about being a grateful person and that is why it is vital that our children, the future of our world, be taught the Word of God so that they will be grateful and appreciative people in the future. I have been teaching for 9 years now and I have noticed that the majority of teens and young adults do not appreciate the investment that I am making in them. They are very ungrateful and it saddens me greatly. I know that much of it is not their fault because they have not been taught the Word of God and they have not learned how to be grateful. Let’s take a look at one of Jesus’ teachings on the subject of gratefulness.
While He was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing between Samaria and Galilee. As He entered a village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him; and they raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they were going, they were cleansed. Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine– where are they? “Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has made you well.” (Luke 17:11-19)
I. Jesus did not have to even encounter these lepers yet He chose to go through Samaria in order to see them.
A grateful person realizes the effort that others exert in order to help him/her. The lepers knew that they were outcasts of society and that Jesus, being Jewish, was not even supposed to travel through Samaria. In fact the Jews of the day looked down on the people of Samaria and would travel out of their way in order to avoid going through Samaria.
II. Since the men were lepers most people would not have stopped to listen to them yet Jesus stopped and listened.
As lepers they were the outcasts of society and most people would avoid them for their own personal health. If you caught the disease then you would become an outcast as well. Jesus not only stopped but He also listened to what they had to say and responded to them. A grateful person would have realized the sacrifice that Jesus had made just by stopping and listening to these men. A grateful person would have been very appreciative of the fact that Jesus took time to listen and help them.
III. Jesus healed them all knowing that most of them would not be grateful for what He had done.
When you serve people you quickly realize that most people are just not grateful for the effort and energy, not to mention the time that you put in to serving them. That is ok, serve them anyway, yet try to teach them how to be grateful as you serve them. Recognize and appreciate the people who are grateful for your service.
IV. True faith is demonstrated through an attitude of gratefulness.
All 10 of the lepers were healed yet only one was told that he had faith. The one who returned to thank Jesus and give glory to God was the one leper who truly had faith. His faith was evident in his actions. That is what true faith is like. It is always seen through actions and the attitude of gratefulness is a sign of true faith.
In conclusion, I would like to ask you a few questions. Are you a person who has true faith shown through your attitude of gratefulness? Are you grateful to your parents? How do you show your gratefulness to them? Do you thank them for all that they do for you? Do you respect them and do what they say? What about your teachers, do you appreciate the fact that they are investing in your future? Do you say nice things to them and about them or are you disrespectful to them and talk bad about them behind their backs? Examine your heart and see what is there. Examine your attitude and actions to see if you have true faith, faith that makes a difference. May God help us all to be grateful people.