By this point in our journey toward building a blessed leadership attitude, we have declared that God is in control; we have determined to exercise the mental and spiritual discipline to fill our minds with God’s thoughts; and we have made a commitment to speak positively about others. Now we add to those components the choice to be a thankful person. . . . to not just feel gratitude but to internalize it to the point where it overflows into the way we speak, interact with others and approach both blessings and setbacks.
Jesus certainly found a thankful person is an attractive person; so do other people. I love this story from the Bible, a beautiful illustration of this point:
“Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ 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.
“And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. So Jesus answered and said, ‘Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?’” (Luke 17:11-17 NKJV)
Those ten lepers could easily represent people in general, don’t you think? If so, then do only 10 percent of us show any gratitude to God, or others on a consistent basis? In fact, interacting with the mass of humanity out there on a given day, do you think that even 10 percent fall into the thankful camp?
Of course, it is not the right attitude to do things for people in hopes of harvesting praise or thanks from them. Still, we all will admit that hearing an occasional “thank you” can be very encouraging.
Stu Johnson is the Executive Administrator for Grace International Churches and Ministries, Inc. Stu has extensive ministry experience as a conference speaker, youth pastor, college and career pastor, associate pastor, senior pastor, and district superintendent. He was also an Air Force officer for 30 years, retiring in 1999 as a Colonel. He has led organizations of 5 to 6,000 people. He has been married to Debbe for over 48 years and has 2 children, Andrew, a Vice Principal and Lisa, a medical doctor.