Have you ever heard of the Pareto Principal? Perhaps you have heard it as the 80-20 rule or the law of the vital few. In business it is a common rule that 80% of profits come from 20% of clients. Or you may have often heard that 80% of work is performed by 20% of the workforce, or top performers. Or 80% of complaints come from 20% of clients.
What about thankfulness. Does the Parento Principal apply to our gratitude as well?
Unfortunately, it may seem even less than so.
Jesus sadly demonstrates a similar rule in the story of the ten lepers healed by Jesus in Luke 17:11-19.
“On the way to Jerusalem, he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices saying, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests”. And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at Jesus feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed?” Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And he said to him, “Rise and go your way, your faith has made you well”.
Wow – only one returned to thank Jesus. Not even 80-20 percent. There was only one to return to show gratitude for the healing he received from Jesus. This is an amazing story and in this one brief paragraph we discover so much about Jesus and about ourselves. ~ Amen
Jesus is on the way to his final destiny in Jerusalem and I love how the scriptures depict him passing between both the Gentiles (Samaria) and the Jews (Galilee). The lepers knew “who” Jesus was as they called him Master. They also knew that he would be the one to have mercy on them. The Master and his mercy takes his time to speak to them and then gives them a command. He is testing their faith and their obedience. “Go and show yourselves to the priests,” says our Savior. This was the law of the day. A person exhibiting an infectious and possibly viral disease must be seen by the priest. But what I really love about this story is once they obeyed Jesus he healed their disease. They knew they were talking to the Master. He is our high priest. So the lepers go on their way but only one stops to notice his physical healing. Only one stops long enough to realize he has been touched by the Master. And this “one” turns back. Did you hear that? Listen, this is important. The leper is physically healed but he “turns back” to seek Jesus and as he turns he is praising God – loudly – and he falls on his face at the feet of Jesus giving the Savior thanks. I don’t know about you but that just gives me goosebumps. And you know what else – this leper, this Samaritan was considered a foreigner, a social reject, to those back in the day. But Jesus did not reject him. Oh no. This Samaritan was accepted by Jesus. But then Jesus asks what he already knew, “Were not ten cleansed?” What about the other nine? They were physically healed yet did not seek to turn to Jesus, to give him thanks, to give him praise. But Jesus is pleased to have this one as he says to him, “Rise and go your way, your faith has made your well”. Did you hear that? Not only did he receive physical healing but spiritual healing as well. And he was thankful and he was loud, and he was bowed down with his gratitude. Goosebumps ! – Amen. Don’t you just love Jesus? He makes it clear he desires our gratitude. Are you in the 10 percent of remembering to thank Jesus?
How do you measure up in gratitude?