Gratefulness #7 – Ingratitude
A story is told about a devout king who was disturbed by the ingratitude of his royal court. So he prepared a large banquet for them.
When the king and his royal guests were seated, by prearrangement, a beggar shuffled into the hall, sat down at the king’s table, and gorged himself with food. Without saying a word, he then left the room.
The guests were furious and asked permission to confront the beggar for his ingratitude.
The king replied, “That beggar has done only once to an earthly king what each of you does every day to God. You sit there at the table and eat until you are satisfied. Then you walk away without recognizing God or expressing one word of thanks to Him.”
Paul said that in the last days “people will be . . . ungrateful” (2 Timothy 3:2).
Ingratitude is inbred within our sinful human nature. We don’t learn to be ungrateful. It’s a scourge in our entire human race – being ungrateful toward others and toward God.
Charles Finney was a leader of revivals during the 19th century. At the top of his list of sins in which to repent over was a spirit of ingratitude – instances that we have received numerous benefits from God and expressions of his goodness for which we have never thanked him.
Cultivating a grateful heart starts by clearing out the old habit of ungratefulness. Asking God to cleanse us of ingratitude.
Then making a fresh start of obedience. Resolving in the strength of the Lord to “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
A Christian, known for cheerfully enduring life’s difficulties, was asked how he could be so grateful. He replied: “First, I look inward, then outward, afterwards beneath me, and last of all, above me.”
Looking inward he saw his unworthiness before God, and concluded that whatever blessings he received were more than he deserved.
Looking outward he saw those who had far more problems than him, which made all his complaints diminish.
Looking beneath he saw the earth into which he would someday be buried, and realized that all life’s troubles would someday be over once and for all.
Looking above he saw by faith his home in heaven, and his light and momentary troubles were achieving for him an eternal glory that far outweighed them all (2 Corinthians 4:17).
This four-way look silenced his complaints, produced a calm submission to God, and fostered within him a grateful heart.
Make a decision: Turn away from ingratitude. Make a new beginning of practicing gratefulness and giving thanks.
~ Pastor Dave