Thanks

APPRECIATION SCALE
Ten Lepers Cleansed
11 Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 12 Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. 13 And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
14 So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.
15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.
17 So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? 18 Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19 And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.”
(Luke 17 verses 11-19)

Different things – mean different things – to different people.
It goes without saying that no two people are the same. Not even twins.

What we value, what we consider worthwhile, differs from person to person.
One man’s junk is another man’s treasure and so on…

Having said that – there is a standard that all societies incorporate into their ‘constitution’. Be it a government or a golf club.

Moral standards – expressed in laws by which we must abide.

Even a group of anarchists, or a gang in the backstreets of a large metropolis – have their codes of behaviour. Even – no law is a law – and it’s unavoidable.

These not having the law, are a law unto themselves.

Their thoughts – accuse or else excuse one another – as guided by and according to, what is often an unwritten code of practice.

But laying aside the subject of ‘law’. There’s no doubt that the thought patterns in each of our lives, due to our upbringing, life’s experiences, friends, educational background and so on – create within us an intellectual and emotional reference system from which we form our conclusions.

This is the same reference system locked in our memory bank, that causes a sound or a smell, or a déjà-vu moment that enables us to give a stamp of approval, (or not) on what we are experiencing in a given moment of time.

In other words “That smell reminds me of that wonderful holiday we had in….”

That kind of thing.

Similarly we recoil at situations we find ourselves in – because we have bad memories being triggered-off again at that moment of recall, by whatever stimulus it is at the time.

And so negative emotions arise in response to our thought life. The ‘trigger’ can be a smell, a word spoken by others, a movie we are watching, a line in a book, actions taken by others, an attitude we detect someone carrying, a piece of world news and so on.

In writing all that I have (above), a penny may drop with you.

But what I want to really refer to is the fact that everybody’s sense of value appreciation is different.

I have often given my paintings as a gift to other people. And the response, or show of appreciation for the gift has varied on a scale (let’s say:) decreasing from one to ten.

Rarely, if ever, has there been a ‘one’.

And of course it might be an interesting study to hold an interview with the person(s) who has been given a gift, to ascertain why their appreciation is a ‘one’ or an ‘eight’ or a ‘five’ etc.

I might be quite flabbergasted if I found out.

“I don’t like your work”. “I’m not really into art”. “I love it, I’m a collector of art. One of the greatest pleasures in life is collecting art works, so thanks a lot”. “I can take it or leave it”. “I don’t know much about art!” “That’s nice – how long did it take you to paint it?”

The responses come from a level of appreciation (1-10) or no appreciation at all.

What is extremely valuable, and a blessing to one person, might mean next to nothing to another, in which case their response is usually polite tolerance of the gift. We all remember the Christmas present we received, that we didn’t want or like. Why did we not want it? Why did we not like it?

The answer: because our appreciation ‘score’ regarding the gift was different than the person giving the gift, had thought.

I marvel at the fact that nine people being healed from leprosy, had so little – of an overwhelming relief and release of joy in receiving such a gift. How could they not return to give God thanks? What kind of level of appreciation did they have? Did they prefer to be sick?

Similarly how is it possible, not to return and give God, in the person of His Son Jesus Christ, thanks for this unspeakable free gift of offered salvation to all of mankind, whilst embracing and accepting it wholeheartedly for ourselves?

What we consider of value, differs from person to person.

And that’s why I sit here – so, so, so thankful for the gift I have received of Eternal Life through absolutely no merits of my own – whilst others do not have this appreciation, and have neither received the gift, nor appreciate what the fuss is all about.

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