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How to Build a Relationally Healthy Church? (Part 4 of 6)

Cultivating a Heart of Gratitude

20th December 2023

To the Precious People at CLIC

As the Christmas season approaches, bringing with it a time of joy and celebration, I want to share briefly with you about cultivating a heart of gratitude.

A beautiful example of gratitude is found in the story of the ten lepers in the Gospel of Luke. These ten men, afflicted with a dreadful disease, cried out to Jesus for mercy. In His compassion, Jesus healed them, instructing them to show themselves to the priests. As they went, they were cleansed. But among them, only one returned to give thanks to Jesus. This man, a Samaritan, fell at Jesus' feet, thanking Him for the miracle. Please note that during the time of Jesus, the relationship between Samaritans and Jews was marked by deep-seated hostility and mutual disdain.

Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?" (Luke 17:17-18, NIV). This story not only highlights the importance of gratitude but also shows how it transcends cultural and social barriers. The one who returned to give thanks was not just healed physically but also received Jesus' commendation for his faith.

Gratitude is like a seed; when nurtured, it grows into a garden of joy. Research has shown that keeping a gratitude journal can lead to increased well-being and life satisfaction.

In our personal lives, cultivating gratitude helps us to focus on the blessings we have, rather than what we lack. This shift in perspective brings about a greater sense of inner peace and contentment. When we start our day with a thankful heart, acknowledging the good around us, we set a tone of positivity that can carry us through challenges and enrich our daily experiences.

In our families and within our church community, gratitude acts as a bonding agent. It fosters an environment of mutual appreciation and respect. When we openly express our thankfulness to each other, it not only strengthens our relationships but also creates a culture of generosity and kindness. In a world often marked by individualism and isolation, a community that actively practices gratitude is a beacon of hope and unity. It stands as a testament to the transformative power of Christ's love, reflecting His teachings in our everyday interactions.

As we draw near to Christmas, let's embrace the lesson of the ten lepers. Let us express our gratitude freely, both in our personal reflections and in our interactions with each other. In doing so, we reflect the generosity and kindness of our Saviour, ushering in joy and harmony into our lives, our families, and this beautiful church family