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An Attitude of Gratitude

Luke 17:12-19

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"And as He entered a certain village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him; [13] and they raised their voices, saying, 'Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!' [14] And when He saw them, He said to them, ]Go and show yourselves to the priests.' And it came about that as they were going, they were cleansed. [15] Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, [16] and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan. [17] And Jesus answered and said, 'Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine-- where are they? [18] Was no one found who turned back to give glory to God, except this foreigner?' [19] And He said to him, 'Rise, and go your way; your faith has made you well.'" NASB
 

You may have heard that Bill Gates is pouring millions of dollars into ending the worldwide AIDS epidemic. If you have, then you probably think that the people benefiting from his generosity are grateful. I'm sure that some are, but not everybody. In an editorial for HindustanTimes.com, Indregeet Hazra writes, "Bill Gates wants to capture a market in India. Fair enough. He wants to give money to AIDS research in India. Are the two connected? Of course they are." Instead of being grateful for the $100 million dollars Gates gave, Hazra calls his motives into question. (http://www.freshministry.org/illustrations.html)

It doesn't appear that Gates can win. In 1997, Ted Turner called Gates a skinflint because he wasn't giving to charity like Turner thought he should. Although Turner put his money where his big mouth was and pledged to give up to a billion dollars to charity, he couldn't just leave well enough alone. Not only did he call a press conference to announce his generosity, but he had to take a swipe at Gates. (http://www.freshministry.org/illustrations.html)

Now Gates is devoting much of his time to do some good with his money and instead of being grateful for what he is doing, the recipients of the generosity are crying Imperialism and accusing Gates of impure motives. Personally, I don't know what Gate's motives are, but I do know that he isn't the first person who did good things and didn't receive gratitude from the people he was helping.

In "The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice," Christopher Hitchens "accused Mother Teresa of carrying out this grand charade of charity. Her real motive, according to Hitchens was to convert the 'Third World' to Catholicism." Hazra criticized Hitchen's position, he wrote "Mother Teresa did spread the word of Jesus to the people she served. But then, just because her desire to serve people happened to be powered by her desire to spread Catholicism isn't the boo-boo that Hitchens wanted to portray it as." (http://www.freshministry.org/illustrations.html)

I was shocked to hear Mother Teresa criticized in this manner and was pleased that the commentator from India defended her to some extent. You'd think people in India wouldn't question her motives, they'd just be grateful for her service, and you'd think they'd be so grateful for Gate's generosity that they'd smile, take the money for AIDS research and say a prayer of gratitude for the help.

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