Glad vs. Grateful

Glad vs. Grateful

Luke 17:11-19
January 28, 2024


“Get up and go on your way;
your faith has made you well.”

from Luke 17:17


There is a difference between being glad and being grateful. It may not seem like a big difference, but it is.

Dictionaries define glad as experiencing pleasure, joy, or delight, and grateful as being appreciative of benefits received. Glad is our experience but gratefulness looks beyond ourselves in appreciation for the source of the joy.

One day Jesus healed 10 lepers. You can bet that all 10 were very glad that they were healed. They had been excluded from family, friends, and public places due to their disfiguring disease. Jesus told them to go to the priests who could certify them as healed, and on the way they were made clean.

Interestingly, while all were assuredly very glad to be healed, only one appeared to be grateful. Upon noticing that they were healed, only one praised God with a loud voice, returned to Jesus, and thanked him. Jesus asked out loud where the other nine were and wondered why only this one, a Samaritan at that, returned to give glory to God.

They were all glad, but only one appreciated the source of his healing.

I've discovered that whenever I take the time to reflect on my circumstances, even amid difficulties, when I consider even the little blessings among troubles, it awakens gratefulness for those blessings, which in turn sheds a little light in dark times, helping me to find my way when I was otherwise lost. When I am grateful for what I have I am more generous with others. When I am grateful that God has forgiven me I find the ability to forgive others.

Being glad feeds us, but when we are grateful we feed others, only to discover that we, ourselves, are additionally blessed.