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I have found that a heart of gratitude is a heart of joy. Show me someone who is grateful, and I will show you someone who is full of positive energy. Jesus weighs in on this gratitude thing, too. One day he comes upon ten lepers. They cry out to him and he heals them all. But only one comes back to thank Jesus. Here is his response:
Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” (Luke 17:17-19)
Jesus seems indignant, doesn’t he? He notices the others’ lack of gratitude. Clearly, gratitude is important to Jesus.
Thus, I would hope it would be to you.
But as I said earlier, I want to dig a little deeper. I want you to learn to practice gratitude. I want you to learn to be specific about that for which you are grateful. Here are the questions I propose for you to ponder:
What has Jesus done for you?
What has he saved you from?
What have you been freed from?
What has he changed in you?
How has he opened your eyes so that you now see things differently?
Yes, these are similar, but I am trying to help you get your arms around this exercise. I want you to write down – yes, actually write down – your answers. And I want you to be specific. Think in terms of: Inside you, in relationships, and even in business. Write down specific answers that arise from the details of your life with Jesus. Nothing vague.
Therein is the catch. Can you be specific? Do you have an abundance of stories and experiences? Or are you fumbling around trying to come up with what might sound like good answers, but do not truly represent your relationship with Jesus?
One of our 721 men said this: “Sam, I was thinking about these questions, and it occurred to me that ten years ago, when I was still just a good Churchian, but did not know, yet, that I did not know Jesus, I would have tried to figure out what answers you were looking for. Like being back in college trying to answer essay questions. The truth is, ten years ago I wouldn’t have had any specific answers. But now I do.”
Do you agree that the more specific your answers, the deeper your relationship with Jesus? The more specific your answers, the more you are bringing him into the details of your life? And the more vague, and the harder you have to try, the more shallow?
Perhaps you may want to dig a little deeper … to bring Jesus more into the details of your life?
So I encourage you, I challenge you, I will browbeat you if necessary—because I know how beneficial this will be—to ponder these questions and write down your answers. And may your joy and confidence in the Lord fill you to the measure of all the fullness of God.