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You would think that with continuing high rates of unemployment, people would be especially grateful for their jobs this Thanksgiving. You would be dead wrong.

In this precarious economy, many employers have had to trim workers, forcing those who remain to pick up the slack—or a pink slip. Resentment and misery are building among those with jobs, to say nothing of the unemployed.

Gallup says that nearly three-fourths of us with paid positions are phoning it in; 55 percent are "disengaged" (emotionally detached) at work, while another 16 percent are "actively disengaged." The actively disengaged are costing their companies about $350 billion each year. The damage to their self-esteem and emotional well-being—not to mention their souls—is incalculable.

Ingratitude is hardly a modern phenomenon, of course. One day Jesus encountered it while on the way to Jerusalem, traversing what Puritan commentator Matthew Henry called "the frontier-country, the marches that lay between Samaria and Galilee."

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" (Luke 17:11-13, ESV, used throughout).

Jesus is called aside by the plaintive shouts of men afflicted with a serious skin condition that present-day translators render as leprosy. Bible scholars generally don't believe their disease was the same as modern-day leprosy, but clearly it fell under the unhappy strictures of the Old Testament law intended to keep communicable disease from spreading.

These ten men knew the law. They had to; it was a matter of life and death. But they also knew something of the ...

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The Blessing of Gratitude
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November 2010

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