This excerpt from my book is one of the “change challenges” that I encourage readers to do. Enjoy!
2nd “Change Challenge”: Have an attitude of gratefulness
Think about this statement: gratefulness provides an atmosphere for change. This was another one of those principles which I didn’t understand until about 4 years into my sickness. If you haven’t noticed, I am trying to set you up for greatness. I want you to be able to read the pages of this book and learn from my mistakes. I am not saying I did everything wrong, the past few years, but I did enough things wrong to maybe help you be further along than I was in my pain.
There is a great example of thankfulness in the book of Luke in the Bible about ten lepers (outcasts with a terrible skin disease)Luke 17:11-19 (NCV) 11 While Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, He was going through the area between Samaria and Galilee. As He came into a small town, ten men who had a skin disease met Him there. They did not come close to Jesus but called to Him, “Jesus! Master! Have mercy on us!”
When Jesus saw the men, He said, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” As the ten men were going, they were healed. When one of them saw that he was healed, he went back to Jesus, praising God in a loud voice. Then He bowed down at Jesus’ feet and thanked Him. (And this man was a Samaritan.) Jesus said, “Weren’t ten men healed? Where are the other nine? Is this Samaritan the only one who came back to thank God?” Then Jesus said to him, “Stand up and go on your way. You were healed because you believed.”
Did you read those verses correctly? There were ten lepers who had an incredibly terrible skin disease and were outcasts to society. It says that nine went on their merry way, yet only ONE came back to actually thank Jesus for what He did! This portion of scripture always floors me with the contrast of gratefulness and ungratefulness, all in the same section of scripture. The one made the effort to go back to where Jesus was to thank Him, but the others so quickly forgot that, not only were they healed but an amazing lifestyle change had just been given to them.
I believe gratefulness is a key element in making it through a rough time in your life. It takes the sting out of a painful situation by focusing on what you DO have instead of being concerned with what you DON’T have.