Spiritually Speaking – November 2020

Giving Thanks

How many of you remember Aesop’s tale about Androcles and the lion?

Androcles, a man who escaped enslavement, was wandering in a forest. He came upon an injured lion with a huge thorn stuck inside its paw. Androcles helped the lion by removing the thorn, and he gave the lion a new chance at life. Later, Androcles was captured and thrown in a dungeon with a hungry lion. The lion rushed forward, but it soon realized that his victim was the same man who saved its life in the forest. The lion did not attack the man; instead, it licked his face like a pet dog and showered him with love.

How many of us truly remember to express gratitude? In the daily humdrum of life, we sometimes forget to say “thank you” to:
• the neighbor who watches your kids when you need to run an errand
• the friend who comes by to check on you when she knows you’re having a tough time
• the teacher who stays after school to help your child with a problem
• your parents who have made sacrifices to help you through life
• the librarian, the banker, the plumber, or the garbage pickup truck driver who help you periodically

Gratitude should not be merely customary politeness. It should reflect a deep humility and love that we feel towards one another.

Saying “thank you” is very important, but it is just the beginning of expressing your gratitude.

To make gratitude go a long way, you should give back in any way possible…just like the lion in the story.

Being thankful has many benefits. A thankful heart has no place for arrogance, resentment, jealousy, or anger. You will often find that people who express genuine gratitude have a pleasant and amiable personality. When you express gratitude, you make friends. When gratitude is accompanied by a generous word of praise or two, relationships thrive.

The story of gratitude in Aesop’s fable about the lion and the man is a moral lesson where kindness and generosity triumph. Even today, when the world is plagued by natural calamities, people rise above these challenges with kindness.

Teach your kids the importance of gratitude, and sow the seed of gratitude in their hearts early in life. Then they will have a chance to grow up to be humble and to appreciate other people.

Excerpts from David C. Pack, Restored Church of God