In Luke 17, Jesus healed ten lepers, but only one came back to thank him. Leprosy was like a plague in that day. Lepers were physically isolated from the community and lived in social alienation. I’m sure the other nine experienced some measure of gratitude, but only one was intentional about showing it.
Gratitude is a currency of joy. When we receive gratitude, we feel good. When we acknowledge the things we have to be grateful for, we experience the same. Nobody wants to be taken for granted. And people who live entitled are miserable because they have nothing to be grateful for. The world doesn’t owe us anything, and even those who fulfill their obligation to us—like our parents, teachers, and friends—deserve our love for doing so.
It is a kind of beautiful irony when a child takes something or someone for granted. That means the child doesn’t know any better. Maybe the child thinks the whole world is full of love, abundance and blessing, and they don’t see the sacrifice and investment behind the scenes.
Ingratitude may be ironically beautiful for a child, but as young people and grown ups, we know better. We see the world for what it is and should appreciate all the love that people show us.
Let’s remember today that gratitude is an enemy of entitlement, a friend of fulfillment, and a currency of joy.