This was week three of Hot Mess and we listened to a message series about our closest relationships. Our guest speaker was Todd Clark, and he talked about the idea of gratitude and how crucial the expression of gratitude is to our loved ones.
Todd shared the story of Jesus healing the ten men with leprosy.
Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy[a] met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”
When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.
One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
Often we use this passage to talk about being grateful. We think of the nine men who didn’t return as ungrateful. But Todd pointed out that they were most likely very grateful for what Jesus had done. Their lives were drastically changed for the better. The man who returned to thank Jesus didn't necessarily feel more gratitude than the others. What set him apart is that he took the time to express his gratitude.
As a society, we can be much like the nine others. We may feel gratitude toward others and just assume that they know how we feel. If we fail to express our gratitude, then how will people know that it actually exists?
Tell us about a time when you felt underappreciated.
Why do you think we are so bad at expressing appreciation toward others?
Tell us about a person in your life who you feel gratitude for, who may not even know it.
What keeps you from telling others when you are thankful for them or for something they have done?
Brainstorm some ideas about how you can creatively express gratitude toward people in your life.
Share the names of two people who are not in this group, that you will express gratitude toward this week.
Go around the room, and have everyone share one thing they are grateful for about the person on their right and the person on their left.
PRAY FOR YOUR GROUP
Pray that we will make an effort to express gratitude to the people in our lives. Pray that this will not just be a short-term focus, but a direction in which we grow and mature.
PRAY FOR FCC
Pray that as a church we will be a place where people recognize our gratitude, and that this will be a source of encouragement for others.
PRAY FOR OUR GLOBAL PARTNERS
Pray for FCC global partners, Lifeline Christian Mission, in Haiti. Pray for the people of Haiti and their government as they work to find a peaceful resolution to the unemployment crises and high gas prices. Pray for Lifeline and the church at large in Haiti to be an encouraging voice of hope and love, pointing people to Jesus.