A Study on Gratitude differs from Thanksgiving

Luke 17.11-17 

11 Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.  12 Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off.  13 And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” 14 So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. 15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God,  16 and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. 17 So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?  18 Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?”  19 And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.” 

GRATITUDE

  1. GRATITUDE IN THE GREEK IS MADE UP OF THE WORD GRACE IN GREEK. THE OPPOSITE OF GRATITUDE IS ENTITLEMENT - WHAT I DESERVE OR ACHIEVED. The lepers achieved and deserved nothing so it was all grace
  2. GRATITUDE IS MORE ABOUT THE GIVER WHO GAVE OR DID NOT GIVE - THANKSGIVING IS MORE ABOUT THE OBJECT OR SERVICE RECEIVED

You can say the words, “thank you,” when there is not gratitude in your heart at all. Custom may dictate that you say the words when you don’t really appreciate what has been done for you. What it takes to turn the words, “thank you,” into gratitude is the real genuine feeling of gratitude. Gratitude is a feeling that arises uncoerced in the heart. It cannot be willed into existence directly if it is not there. 

"True gratitude or thankfulness to God for his kindness to us, arises from a foundation laid before, of love to God for what he is in himself; whereas a natural gratitude has no such antecedent foundation. The gracious stirrings of grateful affection to God, for kindness received, always are from a stock of love already in the heart, established in the first place on other grounds, viz. God's own excellency” - Jonathan Edwards

In other words, gratitude that is pleasing to God is not first a delight in the benefits God gives (though that is part of it). True gratitude must be rooted in something else that comes first, namely, a delight in the beauty and excellency of God's character. If this is not the foundation of our gratitude, then it is not above what the "natural man," apart from the Spirit and the new nature in Christ, experiences. In that case "gratitude" to God is no more pleasing to God than all the other emotions which unbelievers have without delighting in him. 

You would not be honored if I thanked you often for your gifts to me, but had no deep and spontaneous regard for you as a person. You would feel insulted, no matter how much I thanked you for your gifts. If your character and personality do not attract me or give me joy in being around you, then you will just feel used, like a tool or a machine to produce the things I really love.

GRATITUDE IS THE FULL CIRCLE OF GRACE WORKING IN THE HEART - ONE LEPER WAS WHOLE & HEALED

17 So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?  18 Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?”  19 And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.”

GRATITUDE REPLACES SIN IN OUR LIVES. - EPH 5.4

3 Kinds of Thankers

  1. Flint: Requires a hammer to get anything out of it
  2. A Sponge: Needs to be squeezed
  3. HoneyComb: It just oozes out because it’s so full