How do we feel when we have helped people and they don’t even bother to show thanks?
Let’s learn how important giving thanks is and the kind of thanksgiving that pleases God.
We will look at two thanksgiving prayers, one right and one wrong from Luke 17:11-19 and Luke 18:11.
One in Ten Thankful
Nothing is more hurtful than to put yourself out for others, provide accommodation, give them thousands of dollars in financial aid and then they turn their backs on you without a word of thanks. In a local natural disaster, one elderly lady stood out as a shining light. She sought out her aid-givers in order to thank every single person.
Jesus saves us from our earthly troubles now and forever from death. Eternal salvation is pictured in the Bible as eternal healing. In the story of the thankful Samaritan, ten were healed but only one was thankful. Are we completely healed without thankfulness? Is our faith complete without thanksgiving? Could it be that complete wellness includes body, mind and spirit?
One of the two main rites of Christianity is the bread and wine. A word for this is the Eucharist. The word Eucharist comes from the Greek word for thanks, eucharisteo. Jesus gave thanks when instituting communion the night he was betrayed (Matthew 26:27). Some call communion the Great Thanksgiving. Praise and thanksgiving are vital parts of Christian worship.
Our two passages contrast two thanksgiving prayers, a Samaritan leper and a Jewish Pharisee. The Pharisee was physically pure and believed he was better than everyone else. The Samaritan was unclean and knew he was not. The Pharisee praised himself, thankful for what he had done. The Samaritan praised Jesus, thankful for what he had done.
Luke 18:11 reveals wrong thanksgiving, filled with pride and arrogance. It is a deluded prayer like, “Thank you God that we are the best.” The right kind of thanksgiving is the enthusiastic and loud thanks to God we read in Psalm 107 (:1, 8, 15, 21, 31) thanking God for his goodness, unfailing love and wonderful deeds for us.
Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57).