Gratitude Leads to Generosity Luke 17:11-19

Gratitude Leads to Generosity  Luke 17:11-19

Gratitude Leads to Generosity                          Luke 17:11-19

In college I did a special appeal to friends and family so that I could go on a semester abroad and do service work through a Christian development organization in Ghana, West Africa.  The students who were going on the trip were required to fundraise their own support which was needed to cover the costs of the semester, including travel costs.  I sold t-shirts and wrote a letter that I sent out to people near and far who were family or close friends who I knew might support me.  It was amazing to have their responses come back with gifts ranging from $10.00 to $100.00.  Eventually I received all the funds I needed because of lots of people’s generosity.  I was so thankful for all the support I got which then enabled me to have this incredible experience.  I made sure everyone who had given me a gift received a “thank you” card.  It was really important to me that each donor knew how appreciative I was.

The generosity of family and friends made me feel very grateful.  This gratitude has in turn made me into a more generous person.  I determined that, as I got older if I ever received a request from a young relative or friend to support them on a study or missions trip I would do it.  Over the years I have had this opportunity as several students that my wife and I have known have requested support from us.  For me this was another way I could show my gratitude for those who had supported me—by passing on the gift, it felt like I was honoring the generosity I had received from them.

Gratitude is a central theme for the text this Sunday from the Gospel of Luke.  Jesus heals ten men, but only one comes back to Jesus to say thank you.  The man is so thankful that he has been healed, that he kneels down at the feet of Jesus to express how grateful he is.  Jesus appreciates that the man has come back to say thank you, but he does not just want the man to stay kneeling at his feet.  Instead Jesus tells him, “Get up and go on your way. Your faith has healed you.”   It is as if Jesus is saying that he wants the gratitude the man has to move him to get up, so that others will know how he has been healed.  It could be that Jesus is hoping that his generous act will lead to a generous heart in the man as well.

Who has been generous to you in your life?  How has gratitude been stirred up in you because of the support you have received from others?  Has your own sense of gratefulness ever moved you to want to be generous towards someone else?  How might we respond to Jesus’ call to get up and go because of the gift of faith we have been given?   

-Pastor Erik Goehner