Latitude of Gratitude

“Was no one found to return and give praise to God…?”  This quote is from a telling story about human nature found in Luke 17:11-19.

In this story Jesus heals 10 men of leprosy by telling them to go and show themselves to the priest.  As they go they are cleansed of the disease.  Only one man returns to thank Jesus.

How common is that today?  I am not talking about miraculous healing of leprosy.  I am speaking about ingratitude.  We live in a culture in which people rarely take the time and put forth the effort to be grateful.
I wonder it is ingratitude, laziness, or business.  But whatever it is, it is not good. 

Here is the reality about being thankful and grateful…

Gratitude requires latitude.

What does that mean?  You are going to have to cover some ground to say, “Thank you.”  It is going to require some effort on your part.  In reality what we do to say “Thank you” is not a repayment.  It would never be enough.  It is simply a gesture of respect and appreciation, but it requires effort and time.

Take the time to cover the ground and go back and say thanks.  Put forth the effort to look people in the eyes and appreciate what they have done for you.  Take the time to write a thank you card (not a thanks email).

Cover the latitude required to give gratitude.

below is a little story of recent gratitude in my life and for Fellowship Church if you would like to read on.

This past Sunday, I went to Istrouma Baptist Church to say thank you.  Never will a slide show and a 5 minute presentation repay what Istrouma has done for Fellowship through they years.  From the fact that they hired me 11 years ago this week and set me on this journey start Fellowship.  It could be for the baby shower they threw for Daniel when we knew less than 20 people in this city.  Or the times they helped us pull off events in the early days.  Maybe it was when they bought land on our behalf.  Or perhaps when they put some money down on our building loan.

This time it was because they forgave our church a debt.  We still owed Istrouma for the property behind our building.  This debt was big.  ($300,000).  It was in the way of us moving forward and expanding as is needed.  (Fellowship is going to 3 services this fall to keep up with growth and starting a second campus with hopefully a 100 people in January).  And still the land was needed but the needs to build and pay back were more than we had.  Istrouma approached us with the offer…and we are grateful…very grateful.

So take the time to tell people thank you.

Istrouma, “thank you…for everything!”

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