Be mindful of blessings and express gratitude

| June 22, 2017 | 0 Comments

Courtesy of Chaplain Bill Kim

Chaplain (Maj.) Bill Kim
8th Military Police Brigade
8th Theater Sustainment Command

In the Gospel of Luke 17:11-19, there is an account of 10 lepers being healed by Jesus; however, only one of them returns and expresses his gratitude.

We live in a world where there are more people suffering from hunger than a century ago.

Yet, according to a poll, nine out of 10 American families will not utter a prayer or a word of thanks as they sit down to meals – even on Thanksgiving.

Many years ago, in Evanston, Illinois, there was a shipwreck on the coast, and along with the rescue workers, several students from Northwestern University provided aid.

Edward Spenser was one of those students who saved the lives of 17 people that day.

Many years later, during an interview, an elderly Spenser was asked what he remembered most about the rescue.

He replied, “I remember that, of the 17 people I saved that day, not one of them ever thanked me.”

Perhaps the reason we are ungrateful is because we don’t realize how much we are already blessed.

Remember, it was when the one man with leprosy “saw that he was healed” that he went to Jesus to thank him. To be grateful, we must count our many blessings.

Daniel Defoe, through his fictitious character Robinson Crusoe, gives us some good advice.

The first thing Crusoe does on the deserted island is make a list. On one side, he writes down his problems. On the other side, he writes down his blessings.

Under problems, he writes, “I do not have any clothes.” Under blessings, he writes, “But it’s warm and I don’t really need any.” Under problems, he writes, “All of the provisions were lost.” Under blessings, he writes, “But there’s plenty of fresh fruit and water on the island.”

So down the list he went. In this fashion, he discovers that for every negative aspect about his situation, there is a positive aspect.

It is easy to find ourselves on an island of hopelessness and despair. Perhaps it is time that we sit down and make a list of our blessings.

When Jesus tells the Samaritan that his faith has made him well, he is also saying that, while the other nine were healed physically, the Samaritan was healed spiritually in addition to being healed physically.

Ingratitude is a sign of spiritual immaturity. Infants and children do not always appreciate what parents do for them. They have short memories. Their concern is not what you did for me yesterday, but what are you doing for me today.

Those who are mature are deeply appreciative of those who labored in the past. They recognize those who labor during the present and provide for those who will be laboring in the future.

So, the question remains, which one of the 10 are we? When we understand that we are all blessed in our own unique ways, we begin to understand that nothing can be taken for granted.

We realize that all of us are long overdue in expressing our thanks to one another and especially in expressing our thanks to God.

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Category: Standing Columns

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