We can learn a lot about gratitude from the story of the 10 lepers, found in Luke 17. When these ten men, who were banned from the city due to their disease, saw Jesus they cried out to Him for mercy. Jesus told them to go show themselves to the priests, and as they went they were cleansed. Yet, only one of the ten returned to Jesus to thank Him. His act of faith and gratitude, not only cleansed him of leprosy; but he was made whole. It is the Greek word "so-zo" meaning "safe and sound", "free from harm", "healed".
How often do we cry out to God for help or mercy and not say "thank you"? Life is hectic and busy. We are constantly harried, juggling schedules and activities--and a heart of gratitude may not often be in the mix. However, it should be our top priority. The word of God tells us to give thanks about everything (I Thessalonians 5:18). A heart of gratitude brings wholeness and healing. When we move from feeling sense of entitlement to deep appreciation and thankfulness for who God is and all He has done in our lives, we receive freedom, liberty, and unspeakable blessings--just as the one leper did in Luke 17. We know all ten were cleansed, but only one was made whole.
There are countless things to thank God for; and the more we thank Him the less we complain, the less negative thoughts we have, and the more positive we become. For example, thank God that just as you were approaching the long check-out lines, they opened another registered and you were able to bypass the long lines and whiz through check-out. Thank God that your co-worker thought of you and brought you a cup of coffee, that you were running too late to stop and pick up.
Make the spiritual discipline of gratitude a daily, hourly, moment by moment practice in your life. Taking the time to thank God for even the most mundane things will change your outlook and perspective on life. You will begin to feel freer, more joyful, and more invigorated. You will begin to smile more and feel lighter because your heart is grateful.