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How do we say thanks?

Are you a thankful person, or do you focus more on what’s wrong with your day than what’s right? Regardless of how much good occurs in our days, we often let one lousy incident overshadow everything that preceded it. Has dispelling the good and holding onto the bad become our default position?


Research shows that thankfulness boosts our immune systems, improves our health and increases longevity. In light of this, one would think gratitude would be our attitude. Instead, society has adopted an entitlement mentality. We’ve ex-changed our attitudes of gratitude for ones of grab-i-tude. Instead of counting blessings, we make endless wish lists. Some will even spend their Thanksgiv-ings camped out in department store parking lots, anticipating Black Friday’s rock-bottom prices. Making a wise investment is good, but pouncing on the season’s hottest ticket item while wrestling a contender to the floor only makes good fodder for the evening news.   


Luke 17 gives an account of 10 lepers who encountered Jesus travel-ing between the borders of Samaria and Galilee. When they cried out for mercy, He told them to go and show themselves to the priests. Regardless of this being the standard procedure for those who had already received healing, the lepers obeyed Jesus’ commands and left in their diseased state. The result, “as they went, they were cleansed.” When one man saw that he was healed, he returned to Jesus, threw himself at His feet, and praised God. Jesus asked, “Were not all 10 cleansed? Where are the other nine?” 


Only one leper expressed a grate-ful heart, while the other nine grabbed their gifts of healing and ran. Do we grab and go or return to give Jesus thanks?  


Our ungratefulness must grieve our Father’s heart. May we not neglect to thank the “giver of all good and per-fect gifts” (James 1:17) and give Him the honor and glory He is due.


Let’s consider ways we can extend the Thanksgiving season into year-round expressions of gratitude. When we serve others, we serve God and show appreciation for all he has done for us. Whether we put a “Thank you, Jesus” sign in our yard, give a generous tip or help care for the homeless, one thing is true: An attitude of grat-itude will always be obvious — not only to others, but to God. 


“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them”  (Hebrews 6:10 NIV). 


Happy Thanksgiving! 


- Starr Ayers is a multiple award-winning author and writer, third generation artist, Jesus follower, incurable night owl and rainbow chaser. Connect with Starr via social media or via email at starrayers@triad.rr.com or through her website at https://starrayers.org.