June 3, 2007
by Michael Gilbert
What do the 10 lepers (Lk. 17:11-19), false teachers (2 Tim. 3:1-5), the butler who was imprisoned with Joseph (Gen. 40:23), and the Hebrews in the wilderness (Ex. 17:1-4) all have in common? They were all ungrateful.
Ingratitude is very terrible attitude. There is too much for which we should be thankful, and we rarely express enough gratitude to anyone for the kindness shown toward us. Here are just a few things for which I am thankful…
My Grandfather’s Bible
My brother and I used to stay with my grandmother a lot when we were small. Before we pillowed our heads at night, she would read to us from my grandfather’s study Bible. I still remember the various passages being marked with different colors, although I no longer remember what the colors meant. She read about the Roman soldiers that pierced Jesus’ side, and about Jonah being swallowed by the great fish…two stories I will never forget. My grandfather died before we were old enough to remember him reading to us, but I am thankful that my grandmother used his Bible to teach us the things of God.
My Bible Class Teachers
Teacher’s…when you think your class isn’t listening, they are. I still remember J.B. Renner teaching us the book of Acts, especially the first couple verses when he taught us that a man named Luke wrote the both “Luke” and “Acts”. He made a great impression on me.
During the teenage years, John Taber taught us things such as “the inspiration of the Bible” and “Do’s and Don’ts for the Christian”. He also compiled a folder for me and my brother that I still use today.
Who could forget the sobering presence of Mac McClure as he would stand and teach the adult class. As an older teen, we were moved to the adult class because, as our teacher put it, “we knew more than most of the adults”. I am sure he was just encouraging us, but those words did more to teach me that the Bible can be understood than perhaps anything else I have ever heard…and I am grateful for that lesson.
Today, when I think of a Bible class teacher, I think of dedication, knowledge, and sincere love for the truth. But just saying “thank you ” is not enough.
Ingratitude Is Shown By Our Actions
Ingratitude is a rejection of the Giver (Rom. 1:21; 1 Thess. 5:18). It leads to an unholy life, as evidenced by the Gentiles sinfulness in Romans 1.
Ingratitude has been displayed toward many people including children toward parents (Mk. 7:11-12), employees toward their employer (Eph. 6:5-6), citizens toward the government (Rom. 13:7), Christians toward the local congregation (Acts 5:1ff), etc.
What is the cure for the sin of ingratitude?
The 3-Fold Cure For Ingratitude
Remove pride from our hearts. Pride causes us to believe a lie, namely, that we can stand on our own two feet. The truth is, everything we have, we have received. Paul wrote, “…What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do boast as if you did not receive it?” (1 Cor. 4:7). Whether physical or spiritual blessings, we have received all from God.
Observe the “little things” others do for us. After observing them, give honor to whom honor is due (Rom. 13:7). Be ready and willing to say “thank you” either in person, with a card, or over the telephone.
Pass along the kindnesses you receive. As the song says, “Count your many blessings, and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done”. There aren’t enough thank you cards to keep up with all that God and/or others have done for us.
May we always have an “attitude of gratitude”.