Tuesday, November 24, 2009

In Other Words--Living Gratitude

“As we express our gratitude,
we must never forget that the highest appreciation
is not to utter words,
but to live by them.”

by ~ John F. Kennedy

Words are easy to say.  Backing up our words with our actions, now that is entirely different.  In the same way that I prefer my children not to apologize and then turn around and do the same thing again, my heavenly Father prefers that I not say one thing and then turn around and do the opposite.

Like saying I am thankful for German's job, then grumbling about the hours he has to work.
Or asserting that I am thankful for the food on the table, and being resentful that I have had to cook it and will have to clean up after the meal.
Or by paying lip service to how thankful I am for my friends, who I in turn take for granted and do not call often enough.

The New Testament story of Jesus healing the lepers reminds us that thankfulness involves action.  First the lepers had to act upon what Jesus told them to do!  But when they realized they were healed, only one took the action to go and show his gratitude in worship.  He acted on the feeling.  He didn't just wave and shout "thank you," he did something about it.

Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!"  When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.  Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?"
~Luke 17:11-18~

I need to show my gratitude more freely in my actions, not just with pretty words. I need to live out my praise!

How are you living out your gratitude today?

Tami at The Next Step is our lovely hostess this week.  Please visit her and encourage her (and see her great take on this quote).


Heather of S-A-M said...

Loved this post! :o)

Happy Turkey day!

Debbie said...

I loved how you used the example of Jesus healing the lepers and only came back to thank Him. Thankfulness does involve action! You always have a great way of writing something unique and memorable on IOWT. I always look forward to reading yours.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Tami Boesiger said...

I like the scripture you focused on, MiPa. Thanks for showing the action in the gratitude.

You have me wondering, though, if perhaps you are a little hard on yourself? Yes, we all mess up in countless ways, but aren't we expressing gratitude when we keep trying to live a life pleasing to God?

For what it's worth, I am encouraged by your honesty and perseverance in following God, especially when it is difficult. You make me want to be better.

Happy Thanksgiving. (Will you celebrate it?)

Love you, friend.

e-Mom said...

A marvellous and appropriate Bible story to illustrate the importance of giving thanks. Good word, as always, MiPa!

And a Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family--even though you're overseas. :~D