Devotional Reading from the Daily Common Lectionary: Luke 17: 11-19
text: Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they?” (v. 17)
When I give a gift I do not expect a thank you note. I give the gift because I want to give the gift, not because I have to. And when I give I gift I do so with no strings attached. They can “re-gift” it, if they wish. They can do whatever they want with it because it is no longer mine! I gave it to them! This is so hard for many people to understand.
I started this spiritual discipline years ago when I read today’s assigned reading and discovered that I was judging people based on whether or not they sent a thank you note to express what I thought was an appropriate level of gratitude for what I gave them. Such an attitude is not gift-giving but a transaction!
I love the story of Jesus and the ten lepers because even though only one of the ten returned to Jesus to express thanks for his healing, Jesus did not revoke the healing of the other nine! And frankly, I’m glad that He didn’t. Imagine all of the times that I have not expressed thanksgiving for the many blessings that God has showered over me in this life. If I were to be judged on the level of my gratitude I’m afraid that I would fail miserably. Maybe you would, too.
God is gracious, forgiving and slow to anger. As one of the Psalms reminds us, God remembers how we are made; we are mere dust, a flash against the eons of Time and Eternity. Yet, we are precious to God, indeed, set only a little lower than the angels. I would argue that God may love us a bit more, because we are His children.
Lord, make me less judgmental and more forgiving. Show me the spiritual disciplines that I need to work on today, as well as tomorrow. Help me to always listen for Your voice. Amen.