GRATITUDE; VIRTUE OR VICE
By Kingston Ogango
Read: Luke 17:1-19
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Traffic in Nairobi is notoriously heavy especially during peak hours – mornings and evenings. On a
bad day you could be held up for hours even at very short distances of less than a kilometer.
Drivers are furiously jostling for every available space especially at junctions. The obvious happens when
all possible exits are totally blocked – traffic gets gridlocked.
When the smallest space suddenly appears to allow movement, irrational behavior coupled with
high tempers takes over. Intense adrenaline, almost simultaneously, rushes in every driver as they
rush to get ahead by occupying the available space.
Recently, I witnessed an old lady make several attempts to drive across one end of a busy junction.
Other drivers who either drove huge 4×4 vehicles or those who were swifter at the pedals repeatedly
beat her to it. All her efforts bore no fruit. I could see her frustration. When it was my turn to move,
I opted to allow this poor soul that was harassed by the events at this junction to go ahead.
Drivers behind me were hooting as if to suggest I was letting go of a golden chance to get ahead in this
traffic menace. I calmly stepped on my breaks until the old lady had passed. Obviously, I felt I had
made her day! To my surprise! She crossed the road, giving me a stern glance and folded her mouth
in disgust as she mumbled some words, which only seemed to be cursing me for being part of her
Luke Chapter 17 illustrates a story of ten lepers who received healing from Jesus on his journey
from Samaria to Galilee. However, only one went back to express his gratitude. Luke 17:15-18
“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? Were there not any found
who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?”
We live in an age and time where we are very ungrateful. We are ungrateful to parents, to peers,
and authorities. Never appreciating the small acts of kindness and mercy. We have become people
with a sense of entitlement. But God requires that we demonstrate gratitude at all times, in all
circumstances and in all situations. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this
is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Count your blessings; name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done – Johnson Oatman
A Grateful heart is an appreciative heart, flowing with thanksgiving.