Monday, November 21, 2011


During his illustrious career a lawyer was credited with saving 78 people from being executed in the electric chair. Yet, not a single one of them ever thanked him for his effective work. A philanthropist who had given away millions of dollars was heard to say, "Don’t look for gratitude except in the dictionary." Ingratitude is a problem that stalks across our land today.

Jesus experienced the same lack of gratitude when he healed 10 men afflicted with the incurable disease of leprosy (Luke 17:11-19). Only one of them returned from presenting themselves to the priest to express thanks to the Lord for his cure. The apostle Paul said that ingratitude would be characteristic of people "in the last days" (2 Tim. 3:1-2).

A wealthy woman once expressed to her doctor that she was constantly frustrated by a restless desire for more. The doctor wisely replied, "These are usual symptoms of too much ease in the home and too little gratitude in the heart." Material prosperity is not the only cause for ingratitude among some. Forgetfulness is as well. God lamented the fact that the nation of Israel had forgotten him (Jeremiah 2:32) which led to her downfall. Francis Schaeffer once observed, "The beginning of men's rebellion against God was, and is, the lack of a thankful heart." Tennyson Guyer has written a poem entitled, The World Is Mine, that will perhaps help us reflect on how blessed we are during this Thanksgiving season.

Today upon a bus I saw a girl with golden hair;
She seemed so gay, I envied her,
And wish that I were half so fair;
I watched her as she rose to leave,
And saw her hobble down the aisle.
She had one leg and wore a crutch,
But as she passed--a smile.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine;
I have two legs--the world is mine.

Later on I bought some sweets.
The boy who sold them had such charm,
I thought I'd stop and talk awhile.
If I were late, t'would do no harm.
And as we talked he said,
"Thank you, sir, you've really been so kind.
It's nice to talk to folks like you
Because, you see, I'm blind"
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine;
I have two eyes--the world is mine

Later, walking down the street,
I met a boy with eyes so blue.
But he stood and watched the others play;
It seemed he knew not what to do.
I paused, and then I said,
"Why don't you join the others, dear?"
But he looked straight ahead without a word,
And then I knew, he couldn't hear.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine;
I have two ears--the world is mine.

With feet to take me where I'd go;
With eyes to see the sunset's glow;
With ears to hear what I would know,
I am blessed indeed. The world is mine;
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.

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