Sunday, August 08, 2010

One-Tenth Grateful

My personality makes me jump whenever someone personally asks me for help. I just naturally say yes to a live human who has the notion to look me in the eye and ask for something. (On the other hand, I'm quite able to ignore all those impersonal pleas that come from billboards, tv, junk mail and pulpits.) But if a friend or relative directly and personally asks for help, I rarely say no.

I think this is because my love language is Acts of Service:
Acts of Service

Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter
So if it is so natural for me to say yes, why do I so often feel taken advantage of? I crave to be appreciated, and to hear that the recipient of my service really understands what I've done and really is grateful. I may intellectually know that they are happy for my help, but yet I want to hear them carefully and specifically acknowledge my work and thank me.

Jesus might have noticed the same thing with the people he helped, but, being sinless, he didn't let it bother him :-) The ten lepers personally asked for help, and Jesus quickly and gladly gave it. But only one recipient of healing expressed his gratitude:

11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!" 14 When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed. 15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him--and he was a Samaritan. 17 Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" 19 Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well."
Luke 17:11-19 NIV

So, if Jesus only got one-tenth of the thanks that he deserved, perhaps I shouldn't expect more.