Guarding Ungratefulness

Read: Luke 17:11-19

A man writing at the Post Office desk was once approached by an older fellow with a postcard in his hand. The older man said, “Sir, could you please address this postcard for me?” The man gladly did so, then agreed to write a short message and sign the card for the man.

Finally the younger man asked, “Is there anything else I can do for you?” The older fellow thought about it for a moment and said, “Yes, at the end could you put, P.S. Please excuse the sloppy handwriting.”

I don’t know if that story is really true, but it reminds us about how ungrateful we can sometimes be to those who go to great lengths to help us out. We just came out of Thanksgiving and a time in which gratefulness and thanks are on our hearts and minds. But the attitude of ungratefulness is definitely something we have to guard against.

Just like guarding a defender in a sport we have to be ready and aware of when this offense is about to rise up within us. In Luke 17 Jesus healed ten lepers of their diseases, and yet only one came back to thank him. Interestingly enough the text says that this one person was even a foreigner (a Samaritan).

In other words, the ones that you would have expected to give thanks did not and the one who you would have least expected it from is the one who took the time to come back, praising God in a loud voice, to say thank you.

It is good to give thanks and to be grateful. But as Thanksgiving passes and the consumerism of Christmas surrounds us, let us be aware of the attitude of ungratefulness. Do whatever you can to guard it and keep it in check. If this is a struggle for you then ask Christ to help you have a new and grateful attitude this Christmas season and beyond.

Make it personal: This Christmas try to keep your attitude above all of the focus on what we do not have. Be grateful for what you do have and try to help the rest of your family come to appreciate those things as well. And Oh, what do we need to thank God for? That’s probably first on the list that we need to check twice.

Have a peaceful Advent season,
Glen Rhodes, Minister of Discipling and Community Life, Arthur Mennonite Church