Before you get nervous, or scroll away, this is not about tithing. That’s for another day. Are you a ten percenter? We often talk about the one percenters; the small sliver of people that hold the majority of the world’s wealth. There a basically two prevailing ideas about the one percent; 1. they should give more to the 99% 2. they can do what they want to with their money.
I always find it interesting that we think we know what is best…for someone else! It reminds me of when I was being corrected as a child, and I would inform on my brothers. It wasn’t justice I was standing up for; I wanted to deflect my spanking on them! I am reminded of school clothes shopping with my children. Our budget was $20 shoes, their budget was $100 shoes. Without any knowledge of the situation, one could conclude several things:
- Faith and I were hoarding money from our kids, and they were unjustly being treated.
- My kids had no idea how much money we had, nor understood the value of money, or a budget
- My kids were hiding money from other sources, but were holding out for more. They were unionizing.
- My wife and I had budgeted certain money for school clothes, had communicated it to our kids ahead of time, and had informed them that the allowance was $20; anything beyond that would be their responsibility. HINT: this one is correct.
In all of the above situations, my children were grateful. They learned to understand that food, clothing, a place to live, and the main ingredient of love are not entitlements; they are a blessing.
We were going through a particularly hard time once, and even grocery shopping was “touch and go.” Someone had blessed us with much needed groceries. Our cupboards were full, as well as our refrigerator. Our youngest came home from school, opened the refrigerator, saw the food, and yelled, “we’re not poor anymore!”
That was a moment of thanksgiving. In her mind, food in the fridge equals no longer in poverty. She was right!
Poverty is often a mindset than a lack of money. Proverbs 14:23 reads, “Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty!” (NLT) We have so many worried about the one percenters that we’ve forgotten to be a ten percenter.
Jesus encounters a group of ten lepers one day. They stand at a distance, (as they were required to do) and cried out to Jesus for mercy. It is obvious that they knew of Jesus’ healing power, otherwise they would have not called upon Him. Jesus tells them to go show themselves to the priests, which meant that He was declaring them “cleansed.”
The text of Luke 17:11-17 reads this way; “…and as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy.” Even before they got to the priest’s examination (the medical authority of their faith) the healing took place.
What would be your natural inclination at this point? There are others in the Bible who respond to a miraculous provision with shouting, dancing, praising God. Nine out of these ten went on their way.
One turn around and came back. The ten percenter.
He came back to Jesus, shouting, praising God, and fell to the ground (worshiping) with thanksgiving. The English translation falls short here, and we can hardly catch the emotion of the moment. He was “thanking him and thanking him and thanking him.” He’s showing gratitude. The word in this scripture is the same word that we use for communion, “eucharist.”
When is the last time you had a shouting communion service? Perhaps they should all be shouting communion services. Thank you for healing me, thank you for saving me, thank you for giving breath in my body, thank you for taking me into your family. Thank you, thank you, thank you Jesus!
The other nine were only in it for the healing. The ten percenter got healing and wholeness. Jesus said, “go your way, your faith has made you whole.”
He was already healed of the sickness of the body. Jesus now granted him wholeness of soul.
This is November 2021. There’s a ton of stuff to not be grateful or thankful for. A friend of mine is posting one grateful thought every day on social media. Today, my flesh and the world and the devil will attempt to get me to be distracted.
Distractions are anything that takes one’s mind off of being thankful to God.
If I’m complaining about my kids, I’m not being thankful to God. If I’m moaning and groaning about the economy or politics or the general poor condition of things in the world, I’m not being thankful to God. If I’m fretting over the lack of food in the fridge, I’m not being thankful to God.
Paul said, “with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God,” (Philippians 4:6) This is a unique statement; giving thanks in advance of the need! With thanksgiving – I’m giving you thanks God right now… letting my requests become known.
Do you know that Jesus already knew that the lepers had leprosy? Do you know that he already knows our needs before we ask him? (Matthew 6:8).
Thanking him in advance seems to be opposite, but we are being thankful to God because we know that he hears us, and longs to answer us. “With thanksgiving” praying is partnership prayer.
Thank you, Lord that my children are serving You and loving you.
Thank you, Lord that my husband is getting out of prison.
Thank you, Lord for making a way to buy this house.
Thank you, Lord for healing my body.
You may not be a one percenter, but you can be a ten percenter. There’s wholeness there.