Thursday, April 23, 2009
There seems to be a growing resentment against store clerks who ask people if they would like to donate $1 to cure cancer, help homeless pets, feed the homeless, cure muscular dystrophy, etc....If you've been grocery shopping lately, I'm sure a cashier has asked you to help some cause...Now I grew up believing that it's always better to be the giver to charity than the receiver of charity...Remember in our Sunday School class were we was taught about the 10 men with leprosy who came to Jesus asking for "Pity"..."Have pity on us!" Pity - it's an admission that were are desperate for whatever charity another person might provide..."Go show yourselves to the priests" was Jesus response..."As they went," the Bible says, "they were cleansed"(Lk 17:14). But the story doesn't end there...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 (Lk 17:15-16 )What takes place next is very interesting...Jesus asks, "Where are the other nine?" (Lk 17:17 ) Jesus is making a point: gratitude is important to Him...This story is there to underscore the importance of having a grateful heart...Two statements are worth underlining: He came back and Where are the other nine? Gratitude is coming back to say thanks to the One who made it all possible...Gratitude isn't a natural or instinctive thing for most of us, it's a learned discipline one that comes with a realization that we neither deserve nor are entitle to God's blessings...At best we're graced recipients of all we have and are...Remember how the old cowboy would doff his hat and say "Much obliged?" The words imply humility: which mean I cannot get along by myself...They imply reliance: that I need people around me, and that I need God...They imply value: that I recognize the cost involved in giving...They imply gladness:that my life has been filled with a joy that only comes when I reach out to others with grace.