How to Express Gratitude: A Lesson from When Jesus Heals the Lepers

As an entrepreneur, I can get caught up in wanting ‘more’ too much and not appreciating what I have. When Jesus heals the lepers as told in Luke 17:11-19, the response of one of the healed lepers showed me how to express gratitude (and godly gratitude).

The purpose of this post is to inspire you to express gratitude in ways that please your Creator and your fellow man. Because ‘thank you’ are two simple words that can go a long way in a relationship.

What is Gratitude?

Gratitude is the state of being grateful (thankful, appreciative). It’s a mindset that puts thankfulness out front.

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How to Express Gratitude

Listen actively

People appreciate being heard, understood, and empathized with. Let people know that you have listened to them. A classic way to show that you’re listening to someone is simply repeating what the person said to you back to them (don’t do it robotically though because that could be creepy).

A genuine ‘thank you’

Don’t say, “thank you” out of anger or if you don’t mean it. A genuine thank you can be felt by people. 

Write a card or letter

Writing a handwritten letter of gratitude takes a lot of effort. Sending a text or an email is easier to do, and those things have their place, but people will remember a card or a letter a lot more.

Recognize a person for their efforts and contributions

Giving public recognition to someone is a great way to express gratitude for what a person did or is doing.

Prepare food for someone or take them out to eat

Breaking bread with someone is always a good way to show that you appreciate them. We’re in the middle of a pandemic so be wise and responsible when going out to eat.

Speak the person’s love language

Love languages are real! Express gratitude to someone by speaking in a love language that they would understand and appreciate. Is it giving them a compliment? Performing an act of service and gratitude? Or buying them a gift?

Thank You - How to express gratitude

Increase Contentment by Expressing Gratitude

“What am I grateful for right now?”

Ask yourself that question the next time you feel discontent. You may be wondering how to express gratitude when you feel like nothing is going right. Well, I have several ideas that can help:

  1. Pray for a thankful heart
  2. Read the Psalms – David’s writing inspires gratitude
  3. Start and keep a gratitude journal
  4. Stop and list 5-10 things that you’re thankful for right now
  5. Go serve someone (get your mind off yourself)

As I write this article and think about tip #4 above, I’m grateful for the breath in my lungs, my loving wife, our three brilliant children, and my passion for writing.

Godly Gratitude

Godly gratitude is another kind of gratitude to consider. Godly gratitude is a deep, genuine thankfulness for all that God has done for you. I hope and pray that you have this type of gratitude in your heart.

Let’s learn about a man who expressed godly gratitude in Jesus’ midst.

Jesus and the 10 Lepers

“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? 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.’” – Luke 17:15-19

If you’re not familiar with this amazing story, I want you to understand all of its interesting aspects.

These 10 lepers were ostracized from their community. Their disease could have left them with no hope for health and relationships. Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, is curable today but it took a miracle to cure during Bible times. Thankfully, the Son of God was in these guys’ midst. They asked Him for help and He cured them. Jesus heals the lepers with the power of His words in a simple command, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” But only one leper, a Samaritan, turned around and gave us a perfect example of how to show gratitude to God. He gave thanks at the feet of Jesus for his miraculous healing. The reader will soon learn that the healed Samaritan expressed godly gratitude to Jesus. For it was his faith that made him well.

Read my post “The 7 Steps of True Gratitude” to go deeper into the amazing story of the grateful leper. In the post, you will learn how to express godly gratitude in seven key steps:

  1. Acknowledge Your Sin
  2. Go to the Source of Eternal Healing 
  3. Give Thanks at the Feet of Jesus 
  4. God Confirms Your Faith 
  5. Walk Out Your Faith in Thankful Obedience 
  6. Preach the Gospel to Yourself
  7. Share the Gospel

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Final note: We can’t say that we love God if we don’t love our neighbor. Knowing how to show appreciation to others and following through with an act of gratitude is an excellent way to show that you love and appreciate a person and your Creator.

About Chris Craft

Hi! I'm Chris(topher) Craft. I'm a believer, husband of an amazing woman (Wanda), and father of three talented kids (Naomi, Maria, and Elijah). I love writing, learning about God's Hand in History, entrepreneurship, and basketball. Thank you for reading my stuff! ❤️ Connect with me on Twitter @CraftWrites.