How to Develop an Attitude of Gratitude

Topical Scripture: Luke 17:11–19

Last Tuesday, I was honored to introduce Dr. Tony Evans as the keynote speaker for The Salvation Army’s luncheon in Dallas. Dr. Evans is the founder and senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, a 10,000-member congregation in our city. He has published more than 100 books, booklets, and Bible studies. His daily radio program is heard on 1,400 stations in 130 countries. His sermons are downloaded 20 million times a year.

Baylor University named Dr. Evans one of the 12 most effective preachers in the English-speaking world. His address yesterday was characteristically brilliant and moving. And it was enormously courageous.

You see, his wife, Dr. Lois Evans, is on hospice care. Doctors have no further options in treating her cancer.

And yet you would never know the pain Dr. Evans was in. He demonstrated the joy of the Lord, the power of the Spirit, and an attitude of gratitude for the grace of God.

If he could, we can.

Scripture calls us to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Not “for” all circumstances, but “in” them. Dr. Evans clearly obeyed the word of God last Tuesday.

How can we have true Thanksgiving this Thursday? And every day of the year?

Trust God with your pain

Luke 17 (NIV) tells us that Jesus was “on his way south to Jerusalem” and the cross, traveling “along the border between Samaria and Galilee” (v. 11). Along his journey, our Lord met ten lepers (v. 12). They stood at a distance shouting “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” (v. 13). Why?

Lepros is a Greek word which can mean various skin diseases. Psoriasis, lupus, and ringworm probably would have been considered leprosy in Jesus’ day. Leprosy proper, or Hansen’s disease, was common as well. There are three kinds, distinguished by the spots they create: red, white, and black. The disease is seated in the bones, marrow, joints, and nerves, only eventually manifesting itself in the skin.

By that time, it is far advanced. It can cause the nerves to die, so that the patient cannot feel pain, and will damage feet or other limbs without him knowing it. It can cause the joints to separate and literally fall off. Hansen’s disease is always fatal, contagious, and hereditary. It was the AIDS of the ancient world.

And so these lepers stood “at a distance” from Jesus (v. 12). When the leper was windward of a healthy person, the diseased person was made to stand at least fifty yards away. As Jesus was about to enter a village (v. 13), they were required to keep their distance from him.

The Old Testament is clear on this restriction: “The leprous person who has the disease shall wear torn clothes and the hair of his head hang loose, and he shall cover his upper lip and cry out, ‘Unclean, unclean.’ He shall remain unclean as long as he has the disease. He is unclean. He shall live alone. His dwelling shall be outside the camp” (Leviticus 13:45–46). “Command the Israelites to send away from the camp anyone who has a defiling skin disease” (Numbers 5:2).

Imagine being made to live the rest of your life alone or in a camp with other sufferers. Never seeing your family at closer than one hundred and fifty feet; never touching your wife or husband or children or parents again; never knowing a touch of affection or love. An exile for the rest of your life, through absolutely no fault of your own. And this is not to mention the horrible physical suffering when the malady was actual Hansen’s disease, as it so often was.

We can hear and feel their plaintive cry, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” (v. 13). Perhaps they heard of his earlier healing of a leper (Luke 5:12–16). Possibly they knew of his larger healing ministry and compassion for those in need. At any rate, they had nothing to lose by appealing to him for help. The worst that could happen was that he would ignore them as did all the other members of their society.

Jesus did exactly what they asked, having pity on their need. He commanded them to go and show themselves to the priests (v. 14), as only a priest could declare them clean and allow them to reenter society. As they went in faith that they were healed, they were.

Thank God for his provision

Now comes the turning point of the story: “One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice” (v. 15). They had apparently not gone far, as this man was easily able to find Jesus again to thank him. Note that this episode occurred before the leper went to the priest, so that the priest could make no claim to having healed him.

He “threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him” (v. 16a). Earlier he could get no closer than one hundred and fifty feet; now he fell at his very feet in gratitude. “And he was a Samaritan,” Luke adds (v. 16b). To the Jewish mind, this was a half-breed, a moral and spiritual leper whatever his physical condition. Luke didn’t mention the man’s racial status before. It didn’t matter that he was a Samaritan until he became the only one to return in gratitude. Then Luke pointed out his identity for the sake of irony and emphasis.

Jesus then turned this event into a teaching moment: “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” (vs. 17-18). The word translated “foreigner” (allogenes) has been found on a limestone block from the Temple: “Let no foreigner enter within the screen and enclosure surrounding the sanctuary.” A foreigner could not come to the Temple of God, but he could come to the God of the Temple!

So Jesus said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well” (v. 19). It would seem that the man wanted to remain with Jesus; so our Lord told him to “go,” to return to the priest so he could receive his certificate of cleansing and reenter society. With this promise: “your faith has made you well.”

“Well” translates sodzo; when this word is connected with “faith” in the gospels, it takes on a much larger sense than only physical healing. It means to be “saved,” spiritually as well as physically. To be “whole” as several translations render it. To be complete, to be right with God. “Has saved you” is a literal translation.

The perfect tense points to completed action. “You” is singular—only one person was “saved” or made completely well. The other nine were cured of their physical disease—this man of his spiritual malady. The others were cured, one day to die—this man was cured, to live eternally. And the reason? He returned to Jesus in faith, to give thanks.

Recognize your need for grace

Why do so few follow his example and receive his healing today?

If we do not believe that God has given us all that we have; if we separate Sunday from Monday and religion from the “real world”; if we make God our hobby instead of our King; if we think that we are the source of our possessions and prosperity—why would we be thankful to God? We might say a prayer over a Thanksgiving meal, but we certainly wouldn’t let such religious tradition impede on the rest of our holiday, much less the rest of our lives. Why not confine the meal to halftime of the football game, to be followed by an early start on Christmas shopping? If God is irrelevant to our lives, how can he be relevant to Thanksgiving?

It’s easy to condemn those who have turned Thanksgiving from a holy day to a secular holiday, to refuse shopping this Thursday and even this Friday, but is that all God asks of us? As we have seen, his word says to “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). How are we doing with an attitude of gratitude? When last did you take even ten minutes to express thanks to God? When last were you guilty of joining the nine thankless lepers? I’ve had to ask the same question of myself.

Why are we so seldom with the one? I think I know some of the reasons.

  • The nine perhaps thought they deserved God’s favor, for they were Jews. We think we deserve life and gifts and goodness, but we don’t.
  • There would be time later, after they saw the priests and then their families and friends and rejoiced in celebration. They could always come back later to give thanks. But they didn’t. Usually we don’t.
  • They lost sight of Jesus. They were so focused on their newfound health that they forgot the One who gave it to them. So do we.
  • Giving thanks doesn’t really matter to Jesus. He’s God—he’s above that sort of thing. But his response to their thanklessness proved otherwise. God does care. And so do others.
  • I don’t need to give thanks. There’s nothing really to be missed. But there was. They missed salvation—eternal relationship with God. Their bodies were healed, but their souls were not. They were never made whole and well, because they were thankless men. Thanksgiving makes us whole.

You see, we “enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise” (Psalm 100:4). When we are thankful, we recognize and submit to the Source of our life and blessings. We are empowered by his Spirit. We manifest his love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. An attitude of gratitude marks us as the children of God and enables him to use us for in his service.

One grateful leper is still changing lives twenty centuries later. Thanksgiving honors God and extends his Kingdom.


How do we develop an attitude of gratitude? By trusting our needs to God and thanking him for his provisions. Every time we have a need. And every time he gives us his provision.

I mentioned last Sunday that the previous Sunday I was away from our Chapel to preach at Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler. Janet and I accepted their invitation in part because they are a remarkable, global congregation, the largest church in East Texas and one of the most effective anywhere.

The other reason I accepted their invitation is that two of our grandchildren live in Tyler. Even though Green Acres is not their church, they came to worship on Sunday. And seeing my granddaughter in her beautiful red dress at church was worth it all.

I saw another person that morning who also caused me to “enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise.”

My father died of a heart attack in 1979 at the age of fifty-five. On the first day my brother and I came back to our college campus after his funeral, Linda Sharp found us. Her father had died six months earlier of cancer and her pregnant older sister a few months earlier when she was killed by a drunk driver.

Linda put her arms around us and said, “Time helps. It doesn’t heal, but it helps.” I will never forget her grace that day.

I saw Linda at Green Acres. I had forgotten that she and her husband are members there. When I saw her in the hallway, my heart was flooded with gratitude for her. And to the God who used her so beautifully in my life.

If we’ll give every need to God and thank him for every provision, there will never be an hour when we will not be grateful. This is the promise, and the invitation, of God.

How to Love Our Enemies

Topical Scripture: Matthew 5:43–48

Richard Steve Moser III of Cincinnati went to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles last year to get his driver’s license renewed. The problem was, he claimed to be a Pastafarian, otherwise known as the satirical “Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.”

He thus insisted on wearing a spaghetti colander on his head for his photo. When the government agency refused, he claimed religious discrimination. The American Humanist Association has taken up his cause.

Some of the “enemies” we face are of our own making. For instance, scientists are paying people $3,300 to be infected with the flu for research purposes. Others are not: A retired soldier lost his medical alert dog in Arlington when she was stolen from his house.

And some people are making headlines for making good choices. Actor Matthew McConaughey made the news this week when he helped served Thanksgiving dinners for firefighters battling wildfires in California.

Last week I asked you to name the person who hurt you most deeply or most recently. We learned from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount what not to do: we are not to return hate for hate, hurt for hurt.

This week, we learn what we are to do.

Love on purpose

Jesus begins: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy’” (v. 43).

“Love your neighbor” is a familiar biblical injunction. We find it as early as Leviticus 19:18, “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” “Neighbor” comes from “nigh-bor,” one who is “nigh” or near. Loving our neighbor is a basic and familiar Christian ethic.

But were Jesus’ hearers really taught, “hate your enemy”? In fact, they were. The Jewish rabbis considered fellow Jews their neighbor. Everyone else, the Gentile world, was not, and was in fact their spiritual enemy. The Gentile world would corrupt them with its defiled food, customs, and paganism.

Here we find basic humanity exposed. It’s easy to love those who like us and are like us. It’s hard to like those who are not like us and do not like us. It’s human nature to love our neighbor and hate our enemy.

Now Jesus takes his stand: “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (v. 44).

This statement has no parallel in the Jewish tradition or literature. No religious teacher in world history ever defended such an ethic.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was martyred while practicing these very words, said about them, “The Christian must treat his enemy as a brother, and requite his hostility with love. His behavior must be determined not by the way others treat him, but by the treatment he himself receives from Jesus; it has only one source, and that is the will of Jesus” (The Cost of Discipleship, 164).

This is the action which makes our love both real and possible.

Jesus expanded these words by saying, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:27–28). When we pray for our enemies, our love becomes real. It moves from sentiment to substance, from feeling to action. It takes wings and grows feet. It becomes practical and tangible.

And when we pray for those who persecute us, our actions produce feelings. We act out love, and eventually feel love. It’s a process which takes time, but it works.

Such forgiving love in action reveals our spiritual genetics: “that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven” (v. 45).

God blesses both the evil and the good. Sun shines and rain falls on the unrighteous and the righteous. And we’re glad, for we’ve all been evil and unrighteous.

A father should love his children, whether or not they love him; and so God loves us. A sibling should love his sister or brother, whether or not they love him; and so should we. Such love shows us to be our Father’s children.

Otherwise we are no different from the children of the world. The tax-collectors, the most despised people in Israel, love those who love them. The pagans destined for hell greet those who greet them. It is human nature to love those who love us. It is divine nature to love those who do not.

Such selfless, forgiving love fulfills the purpose for which we were created: “be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (v. 48).

“Perfect” is the word teleios. In this context it means to achieve the purpose for which we were intended. In this sense a screwdriver is “perfect” if it does its job. It is not “sinless”—it may have nicks on the handle and paint on the blade. But if it turns the screw it was meant to turn, it is teleios.

What is our intended purpose? Jesus made it clear: love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. God is love (1 John 4:8), and he has created us to love as he does, to forgive as he does, to love our neighbor because we love our Father and to prove we love our Father by loving our neighbor.

And so selfless, forgiving love is the purpose for which we exist. Now, how do we learn to give it?

Love in practice

Dr. Everett Worthington edited a defining book on forgiveness, titled Dimensions of Forgiveness: Psychological research and theological perspectives. When he began his research, he had no idea how much he would need its results personally. On New Year’s morning of 1996, his elderly mother was found beaten to death with a crowbar and a baseball bat. His advice is both professionally informed and personally compelling.

Dr. Worthington suggests five steps towards forgiveness. In examining them while preparing this message, I was amazed by their parallel to Jesus’ words in our text. They form the acronym REACH.

“R” stands for recall. Recall the hurt, as objectively as you can. Admit the reality of the pain you have experienced. Do not deny it, pretend it doesn’t exist, or excuse the person who caused it. Think about the person who hurt you most, as realistically as possible.

Jesus begins at the same place: “Love your enemies” (v. 44). Not “love if you have enemies.” He knows that we do, and that we know who they are. He warned us: “In this world you will have tribulation” (John 16:33). Where is yours? Who caused it? Think about the person, and especially what that person did, the specific actions which injured you. Recall the hurt in all its reality.

“E” stands for empathize. Try to understand why this person hurt you, from his point of view.

Jesus tells us to “Love our enemies,” using the unusual Greek word agape. This word was employed very seldom in the Greek world prior to Christianity. The common Greek words for “love” point to sexual, family, or friendship love.

Agape is far more. It is selfless, sacrificial, the love which puts the other person first with no thought of reward. The love which cares for the other, however they feel about us.

How do we do this? “A” in Dr. Worthington’s acronym stands for giving the altruistic gift of forgiveness.

Jesus tells us to “pray for those who persecute us.” His words are present tense—do it even while they are persecuting us. This is the act whereby genuine forgiveness always begins.

Such prayer surrenders the right to get even with the person who hurts us but gives them over to God instead. Such prayer enables us to see this person as God does, as a weak, fallible, complicated human being like ourselves. And such prayer begins the process of wishing for their welfare.

Note that praying for our enemies does not deny justice. Nowhere does Jesus teach us that forgiveness suspends the consequences of evil actions. The legal process which governs human affairs and nations must proceed. To forgive means that we pardon personally—we give up our right to punish this person ourselves. We no longer want revenge and vengeance for ourselves. We trust this person into the hands of God and that justice which is fair and right.

“C” stands for public commitment to forgiveness. Dr. Worthington’s clients write a “certificate of forgiveness,” a letter of forgiveness to the offender. They write such forgiveness in their diary or tell a trusted friend what they have done. They make public their pardon for the one who has hurt them.

Jesus makes clear that our forgiveness must be equally public. This is our witness, proof that we are children of a forgiving Father. Such forgiveness separates us publicly from the tax-collectors and pagans of our day. It shows the world that we belong to a God of grace.

“H” stands for the final step, to hold onto forgiveness. Every time the pain returns, we take these steps again. We recall it, we empathize with the one who hurt us, we forgive altruistically through prayer, and we commit to such forgiveness. As we do so we become “perfect,” fulfilling God’s created purpose for our lives. We love as he loves. We make Jesus’ love real through our own.


Let’s recap: Recall the person and the specific hurt you felt. Empathize in selfless love. Be altruistic through prayer, surrendering your right to revenge and placing them in God’s hands. Commit definitely and publicly to pardon and reconciliation. Hold this commitment firm every time the pain returns to your heart, the anger to your soul.

In short, do for others what Jesus has done for us. Give to others that which he has given to you. And he will help you give it.

Corrie ten Boom, the Holocaust survivor who lost her entire family to the Nazis, knew firsthand that forgiveness is such a process. She likened it to letting go of a bell rope. When you’re pulling on the rope which rings a bell, and you let it go, the bell keeps ringing for a while.

But if you keep your hands off the rope, the bell will begin to slow and eventually stops. She says that forgiveness is not something we feel, but something we do. It is letting go of the rope.

This is what Jesus did for us. Now he invites us to pay forward his forgiving grace.

For whom do you need to let go of the rope today?

Why Give Thanks

Topical Scripture: John 6:1-14

There are only thirty-seven shopping days left until Christmas. If you’re wanting to get started, you might consider a giant infrared healing clam at a cost of $14,000. Or twenty-four-carat gold shoelaces for $19,000 (the silver version is “only” $3,000). Or a glass pool table for $73,000. Batman fans might spring for the Bat Golf Cart at $28,500; I’m sure that would look good tooling around the lake.

If someone you love is looking for a new car, you might consider the McLaren Elva. Only 399 are planned, so you’ll need to order one now. It has no roof, windscreen or side windows and goes for a mere $1.8 million.

In a world of such prosperity, where we have so much that we have earned and purchased and produced, why give thanks to God?

A familiar story

Our story begins: “After this Jesus crossed to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias.” (v. 1). There was a “mountainside” in the area (v. 3), but also “much grass in the place” (v. 10), indicating one of the hillside areas bordering the Sea of Galilee.

Luke tells us that they “withdrew apart to a town called Bethsaida” (Luke 9:10). This town was situated on the northernmost tip of the Sea of Galilee, just east of center, where the river from Lake Semochonitis empties into the Sea of Galilee.

Meanwhile, “a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick” (v. 2). “Large” translates mega, demonstrating the size of this gathering. In response, “Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples” (v. 3).

It was springtime, for “the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand” (v. 4). Then, Jesus looked up and saw “that a large crowd was coming toward him” (v. 5a). Our Lord had already spent the day with them, teaching them many things (Mark 6:34). In the course of the day, he “welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and cured those who had need of healing” (Luke 9:11).

Then “Jesus said to Philip, ‘Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?'” (v. 5b). Philip was from Bethsaida (John 1:44), the nearby town. The disciples had already urged Jesus to send the crowd away so the people could find food (Mark 6:35-36; Luke 9:12). But Jesus wanted to meet their need and to teach Philip a lesson as well; John tells us that “he said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do” (v. 6).

Mark quotes the disciples’ concern: “This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late” (Mark 6:35). Even if bread were available, it would be extremely expensive to purchase for such a large crowd. Eight months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite (John 6:7). This would be two hundred denarii (the literal Greek); the denarius was a Roman coin worth about eighteen cents, the usual pay for a day’s labor. As a result, we can calculate that between 5,000 and 10,000 were in the crowd.

At this point, Andrew stepped in: “One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, ‘There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish'” (vv. 8–9a). He had “barley loaves,” a kind of inferior bread used mainly by the very poor (cf. Ezekiel 13:19). “Loaves” were not like ours, but were flat, round sheets of bread which could be carried easily. A fried tortilla might be the closest example in our culture.

His “two fish” were small dried fish, applied to the bread as a kind of dressing. They were similar to sardines. Andrew’s question is understandable: “what are they for so many?” (v. 9b). It was all the boy had, but he gave it all to Jesus.

Our Lord responded: “Have the people sit down” (v. 10a). They sat “in groups, by hundreds and by fifties” (Mark 6:40). This was an act of faith on the part of the giant crowd as daylight faded and they had no food in sight. It was also an act of faith by the disciples, as they sat the people down for a feast which the disciples did not have to give. They reclined in the posture taken at a feast, not a fast meal on the go.

The people could do so because “there was much grass in the place” (v. 10b). As a result, “the men sat down, about five thousand in number” (v. 10c). Mark tells us that “and those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children” (Matthew 14:21). This was an astounding crowd, as the neighboring towns of Capernaum and Bethsaida probably had a population of only two to three thousand each.

An unfamiliar prayer

Then “Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted (v. 11). He would have used the typical Jewish invocation, “Blessed are You, O Lord, our God, who causes to come forth bread from the earth.”

The other gospels say that Jesus “blessed” the food (Mark 6:41; Luke 9:16; Matthew 14:19). Here we find the origin of the Christian custom of “returning thanks” or “saying the blessing.” Actually, we “ask the blessing”—we do not “bless the food,” something only God can do.

Such an attitude of gratitude is appropriate whenever we eat: “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:4–5). Paul taught us: “giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20).

After Jesus returned thanks, he “distributed them to those who were seated.” Apparently, the miracle occurred as the food was distributed, so that the disciples kept giving but did not run out until the people had “as much as they wanted.” This was a rare privilege for impoverished people who often had only enough food to survive, not enough for a feast. But Jesus met their need and more.

And all of this happened after Jesus gave thanks to God for the food he then provided.

Three life lessons

From this familiar story and unfamiliar prayer, we find these life principles:

All we have comes from the One who made all that is. The lunch was provided by the boy to the disciples, but by God to the boy. All that we have comes from the one who made everything from nothing. You and I did not earn the right to live in America rather than North Korea, or to have avoided physical handicaps others must face. Our ability to work and produce comes from the God who enables all work and production. Every breath we take is his gift.

A skeptic told God he could make a better world than the Lord could. The Lord accepted his challenge. The skeptic stooped down and scooped up some dirt to get started. God said, “Get your own dirt.”

Giving thanks for what we do not have positions us to receive what God will provide. Jesus gave thanks for this feast before it became a feast. He thanked God in advance for what God would provide. When we face challenges, we should do the same. As we thank God for what he will do, we position ourselves to receive his best.

C. S. Lewis solved a mystery for me regarding prayer. It seemed illogical that we should pray about what has already happened or has not yet happened. But Lewis points out that God is not bound by time. Thus, a prayer you offer today was known to him three years ago and may have been part of what he did then. The same with prayers today and events in the future.

When we thank God for what he will do, our prayers become part of what he does. Public gratitude leads others to faith in the God we thank. Jesus’ prayer of gratitude was heard by the disciples and all who were present. When they saw the miracle that followed, “they began to say, ‘This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world'” (v. 14).

Five thousand families saw him give thanks to God for what God had not yet done, then receive all that God would do. His attitude of gratitude would mark their lives for the rest of their lives.

If people see you giving thanks for what God has done or for what he has not yet done, they will be marked by your attitude of gratitude. Some you may never know will know your faith, and they may make it their own.


Why should you develop a greater attitude of gratitude? Why give thanks to God for what you have, when you worked hard for it? Why thank him ahead of time for what he has not yet done?

Because all we have comes from the God who made it; giving thanks positions us to receive God’s best; and others will see our faith and may come to our Lord.

For what are you thankful today? For what should you be thankful today?

Will you make time each day across this thanksgiving season to experience the power of gratitude?

I am reminded of A. O. Collins, my major professor in college and one of the most gracious and grateful souls I have ever known. No matter what he was going through, from his wife’s Parkinson’s disease to his various physical challenges, he lived every day with smiling grace. I never saw him have a “bad” day.

One time, he was traveling back to Houston late at night and stopped at a rest area. He was attacked by a knife-wielding robber who cut his face and hands. He came to school the next day wearing bandages placed by the emergency room where he spent much of the night.

We were all shocked and grieved, but Dr. Collins had his usual smile. “Well,” he explained, “I’m glad he only took my wallet and not my life.” He was grateful for what he had rather than angry for what he lost.

Let’s join him.