In the first chapter of the book of Romans, the apostle Paul describes the appalling moral condition of the gentiles. He says that they are filled with “all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil mindedness” (verse 29). In verse 21 Paul also says that the gentiles were not “thankful”. At first glance it might seem that mere ingratitude doesn’t fit on this list of bad character traits. However, not being thankful is just a symptom of a much greater problem, that being selfishness. People who are not thankful for the things they are given generally believe that what they receive is no more than they are due. They believe that they deserve whatever they get, so why be thankful for it?

The scriptures have quite a lot to say about this unthankful attitude, and none of it is very flattering. In Luke 17:11-19 we read about Jesus’ healing of the ten lepers. After crying out for Jesus to have mercy on them, Jesus tells them to go and show themselves to the priests as the law of Moses required. As they travel they are all healed, but only one came back to thank the Lord. Jesus asked the question, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?” Let us not be among the nine, but let us be truly thankful for all that God has done for us.