“And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, TURNED BACK… and fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks… There are not found that RETURNED to give glory to God, save this stranger” —Luke 17:18
The phrase “return thanks” is based on the Bible account of Jesus healing the ten lepers and one one came back to “return thanks” to Jesus (Luke 17:12-18). Ingratitude is one of the most grievous sins a person can commit.
While we certainly need to return thanks to God who “daily loadeth us with benefits” (Ps. 68:19), we must not neglect to be thankful for our family and friends who have been a blessing to us through life.
Nine times Paul writes in his epistles, “I thank my God,” or “I thank Christ Jesus…” (Rom. 1:8; 7:25; 1 Cor. 1:4, 14; 14:18; Phil. 1:3; 1 Tim. 1:12; 2 Tim. 1:3; Philemon 1:4). If you look at the context of Paul’s thankfulness, you will see most are expressions of gratitude for what others have done for him.
Eleanor MacKerron, was a popular pianist at the New Hampshire’s Rumney Bible Conference. In the mid 1960’s she underwent surgery on her brain to relieve pressure caused by a decompressed bone in her skull.
Several years later a lady approached her after she played at the Bible Conference. She told MacKerron, “I have your skull bone!” She proceeded to tell her how she had been hit on the head by a beam at a submarine base in Connecticut. Facing a brain operation at New England Baptist Hospital, she needed a bone. Doctors found the exact size from their bone bank. After recovering from the surgery she asked the doctors whose bone it was. They told her, “Eleanor MacKerron.”
There at that Bible Conference she told Eleanor, “I vowed that I would find you to tell you thank you.” Eleanor then reached out and felt her bone in the lady’s head.
Thanksgiving is a time of “returning thanks.” British author James Allen said, “No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.”
Is there someone you need to “return thanks” for what they mean in your life?