Athlete, Be the One Who Says Thanks
Luke 17:14-19 (NIV)
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? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then He said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
There are plenty of lessons in this striking Bible story. Let’s highlight some.
ThanksLIVING doesn’t come easy. It’s not a natural reflex. Otherwise way more than one leper would have returned to give thanks. Go the extra mile and express thanks.
We steal the glory in life more than we think. We often take too much credit for our successes. The nine who never returned to say thanks must have thought that their own actions of obedience (going to show themselves to the priests) produced their healing. Thus, circling back to thank Jesus wasn’t all that necessary.
The object of our faith is more important than our faith. The object of our faith heals and restores, not just our faith. It’s crucial to recognize, treasure, and really give thanks to Him, Jesus.
Faith must have feet. It is best expressed in obedience. The lepers went at Jesus’s command and, as they did, they were healed. Their healing didn’t await their “church” show up. It awaited their obedience by faith.
Thankfulness is best expressed in thanksGIVING and thanksLIVING. Don’t mute your thankfulness. Shouting it out and falling down is a great way to start the thankful flow.
Living a life of faith, obedience and thanks makes a person well. Ten lepers were healed, but the Bible says that only one was made whole.
Thankfulness brings wholeness. That’s what the one leper got. We are not fully whole, not fully well, apart from faith-driven obedience and thanksgiving flooding our souls.
Jesus blessed others regardless of their race/nationality/ethnicity/socio-religious status. He even blessed others regardless of their thankfulness. As His followers, we must too.
Reflect: What did you hear or see in this story that really touched you? How much are you living as the one or the nine? We are commanded to be thankful. How obedient are you to give thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:18)?
A prayer to consider: LORD God Almighty! You have breathed so much life and peace, truth and grace, wellness and wholeness into me. It starts and flows from Jesus and has spread through so many others to me.
Even my worst experiences have become great blessings. I fall down and worship You like the leper. All that is within me blesses Your Holy Name.
Help me to live a life of gratitude expressed, of thankfulness shown all around. Others need to know the blessing they are to me. Help me to keep the valve of my thanksgiving ever open, poured out in ceaseless ways. Through Christ, the indescribable gift, I pray. Amen.