Summary: Gratitude is good to your soul.
We are a society of complainers. We find fault with everything from the environment to the way our government is handling foreign affairs. We are never satisfied--the economy is bad, gas is expensive, my third wife is the same as my first two ex-wives. Consequently, we are not a happy people.
I sumit that we need to be more grateful for the following reasons.
FIRST, GRATITUDE BREEDS HAPPINESS AND CONTENTMENT
A Roman orator, lawyer, politician, and philosopher almost a century before Christ was born wisely observed that gratitude is the parent of all virtues. One who appreciates life more becomes more happy and contented. One contemporary author believes that gratitude is the secret to happiness. He argues that complaining makes one unhappy but having a grateful attitude makes one really happy.
SECOND, GRATITUDE FORTIFIES THE SOUL
One writer describes gratitude as a vaccine, an antitoxin, and an antiseptic. A vaccine is preventative, an antitoxin kills poison, and an antiseptic is a cleansing agent. A grateful person is a healthy soul. Staying grateful keeps your soul from poison. Actually, it keeps removing wrong attitudes from your life.
In the Hebrew language, the word for gratitude is also the word for confession. To say "thank you" is to admit your dependence on someone, that someone has actually benefited you, and that your life has been made better by somebody.
THIRDLY, GRATITUDE IS GODLY
In the story in our text we see the Lord Jesus actually asking where the other nine healed lepers are. He must have been waiting and expecting them to return and say "Thank You, Lord, for healing me." To the Lord Jesus, it is "right" and "proper" to say "thank you." I imagine that He feels very sad that the nine lepers did not say "thank you."
Throughout His earthly life, the Lord Jesus practiced thankfulness. He thanked God for something as simple as "bread." He also thanked God for opportunities and never complained for anything.
In our text the Lord Jesus says that the act of saying "thank you" is glorifying to God. It is a GODLY thing to say "thank you."
Let us start by thanking God for sending His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to die for our sins. Let me illustrate how important this is.
A liberated slave told President Lincoln that he would not accept his freedom as a gift and so he proposed to pay for it with a silver dollar. The president tried to show that he could not pay for his liberty, that the fact that he thought he could indicated that he did not fully appreciate the priceless gift. When the freed man insisted, the president took him to the window and showed him the row of soldiers’ graves across the river in Arlington. The president asked him how his money could pay back the lives that had been given that he might live in freedom. When the man asked what he might do, the president told him that he can do that only by being grateful and by living as a freeman.
During the Vietname War a young lieutenant died trying to rescue one of his wounded soldiers. After the war, that soldier was invited by the family of the lieutenant for dinner. During the dinner, the soldier was roudy and obnoxious, telling off-color jokes and showed no gratitude for the sacrifice of their son who died to save him. The grieving parents did the best they could to make the man’s visit worthwhile, but their efforts went unrewarded.