“And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:
And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
And one of them, when he saw that he
was healed, turned back,
and with a loud voice glorified God,
And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.”
As you read this Bible passage, you see a 1 in 10 average. 10 lepers were cleansed and only ONE turned back to glorify God!
I would love to improve that average today. I want to influence others today to be the one that turns back and takes the time to give thanks. Maybe a 3 in 10 or even an 8 in 10 if I do a good job explaining this concept.
Why is it so important to up this average?
Well, think of baseball…if you hit the ball 1 in 10 times, would you be a valuable player. The answer is no. You will more than likely be sitting the bench. And who wants to sit the bench?
If it is that important to have a good average in the game of ball, how much more important to be a good player in the game of life.
It is hard for me to believe when I read the passage of the lepers, that only ONE turned back. ONLY ONE!
We were taught from our youth to say, “Thank You.” Did we grow up? When you say thanks it give a little of your heart away—It warms your heart!
Take time to say thank you. It brings happiness to others to be thankful. How many times do you do something for others and you wait for the thank you that never comes and instead you may start to feel bitter or sour because you did something nice and they were just flat out ungrateful.
I have had that happen to me many times. I have bent over backwards for others, sacrificed my time, expertise, family, and had the other person just say “Good Enough” with a pout on their face. Just sitting there, EXPECTING someone to do something for them. They deserve it. That makes me feel sour sometimes. I had it happen enough times that I have come to a point to do things as unto the Lord. Do nice things anyway just because I LOVE and because I know what Jesus would do. I realize it takes a special person to actually turn back, a ONE IN TEN type of person! I strive each day to be that ONE!
If a person could find the cure for cancer, that surely would be the crowning achievement of this world. To heal just one person with cancer. Jesus healed, cured 10 at one time! Rotted flesh made like new in touch of the master. He freely gave so that their flesh would return to normal.
Leprosy is a nasty and grievous disease. It is a contagious disease that affects the skin, mucous membranes, and nerves, causing discoloration and lumps on the skin and, in severe cases, disfigurement and deformities. Essentially your flesh is rotting. It was so serious that back in the time of Christ, they would banish a person out of the community to live in bands of other lepers. If you were a prominent person, had a family, loved ones, if you contracted leprosy, it was like a death sentence. Your family would have to say goodbye to you because you were unclean. Imagine being torn from all those that you love to live in the dark corners of the outskirts of town wrapped in dirty, filthy rags.
That healing meant they could have their life back, their family, their job! It is something that only ONE gave thanks to God! Why did the other nine not turn back to give thanks?
Reasons they may not have turned back to give thanks…
- Maybe they were trying to see if the cure would last
- Maybe they figure they will see him later and then they could thank him
- Maybe they are skeptical and doubt that they had the disease to start with
- Maybe they think they would have gotten better anyway
- Maybe they think it was the priests that did it
- Maybe they believe they were already improving, it was not actually a miracle
Okay, so I am sure many of us would allow our minds to go there. We have all been skeptical and thought these thoughts before. I know I have!
What do we do with the common mercies that God gives each day. Isn’t it a miracle that you can see? Or taste food? How about being able to walk? That is just a common thing, but God made your body function so you could stand and walk. What about hearing, or lets take your digestive system or the fact that you have a BRAIN to think and reason with? All common miracles we all forgot to praise God about today!
So, on the flip side, when someone does us wrong, we are so quick to turn back…
- We talk about it
- Spend time dwelling on it in our mind
- Lose sleep over it
- We confront them and tell them how they hurt us
I think it is safe to say that that is more often a better average. Negativity and evil always win out. I would say that average would be more like a 9 out of 10! Which one of us can admit that when someone hurts us that we just take it and never turn back to think about it. Hey, I am guilty of that.
How hard is it to just take a few moments each day to say thank you. Here we do not praise God when he bestows so many blessings, unnamed blessings each day!
When we receive a continent of blessings each day, can’t we even give God just an island of praise?
Think of it this way…All ten lepers prayed. They all prayed for mercy—to be healed. They were in misery and they were lonely. They said, “Jesus, master, have mercy!”
ONLY ONE...while all TEN got an answer
A teacher who taught for 50 years said only ONE of her thousands of students sent her a thank you card. It made her feel that she was a good teacher. That one note warmed her heart!
Have you ever taken time to write a letter to a teacher you appreciated, or a doctor, or a pastor? You know what you do, you go to the next request. The next need instead of taking time to give thanks. I know it is easier.
What if you could just take a few moments to write a teacher or someone who made an impact in your life, it is not a huge cost. Just a stamp and a few moments of your time. Do you know what it would mean to them? It could be the only one they ever got. Here they could go their whole life just thinking they never made a difference here on earth in someone’s life, and you could change that!
Just a wave of our hand, a nod of the head, a smile could just be the thing that warms another persons heart. When someone gives you a good parking spot, nod and smile. It is easy.
We just do not want to be that 1 in 10. What if we just want to be a passing grade?
When you are at a restaurant, let's say you have a waitress that is smiley and kind. She seems happy to serve you. I had that happen to me at Hardees one time. She kept coming back to our table and sweetly asking us if we were doing okay and if we needed anything else. I was so impressed and she was just a young girl, maybe 16 or so. I got up and grabbed a comment card and forgot her name, so I called up the manager. I bet they were shaking in their boots because they may have figured I had a complaint, but no, I had a praise! I asked him what her name was. He looked so nervous. He gave me her name, as I jotted it on the card. I told him that she deserves a pat on the back, or even a promotion because she was the nicest, sweetest, most attentive waitress I have ever met in my life! His furled brow turned into a great wide open smile. I handed him that card and said that he should take notice of her work ethic and attention to customer service. Next time I went to Hardees, she was promoted to assistant manager!
It took me about 3-5 minutes of my time to do that and look at what a big difference it made in one person’s life.
Now it is your turn, take time today to give thanks. Notice the good things in life. Be that one in ten that turn back for praise. Let’s improve the average today.
“Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD;
for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.”