Illustration results for ingratitude
THE MARK OF JESUS
When I was pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Levelland, there was a man in our church, the owner of a local business and a highly intentional Christian. The apostle Paul once said of himself that he bore "on [his] body the marks of Jesus" (Gal. 6:17). Well, this man bore the marks of Jesus on his life. His wife was the most annoying woman I have ever known. She was chronically ill, and her sickness had embittered her spirit. She demanded almost all of this man's time and energy, and she was never grateful for a single thing he did for her. She complained about life, and she complained about him. For his part -- I don't know how he did it -- but he remained gentle and serene, and he had the utmost patience with this woman. He never spoke ill of her. He never sighed under the burden of her criticism. He was truly a man of God. He had an intimacy with God that was not showy but nevertheless evident. If life had not rewarded him with outward happiness, he was deeply and inwardly joyful. God was his "portion," as the Bible says (e.g., Lam. 3:24; Ps. 16:5; 73:26), and he was satisfied.
How could he do this? How could he be so patient and kind and committed to the welfare of his wife despite her ingratitude? I'll tell you: he was in covenant with his wife, but he was also in covenant with God. And here's what I learned from him. This man partnered with God in his own process of sanctification. Now, let me tell you what I mean. This man's highest interest was not in being happy in some conventional way. No. Instead, the longing of his heart was to be the kind of person God wanted him to be. And God has to work on a person to make them like he wants them to be. And what this man did is: he yielded to God's program of overhaul in his life. God not infrequently uses suffering and adversity. How does the old hymn say it? "When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie, my grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply; the flame shall not hurt thee; I only design thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine."
That's what this man wanted. He wanted his dross consumed; he wanted his unloving tendencies to be burned in the fire of affliction if need be, and his gold refined, his character refashioned to be like that of his Lord, who "loved the church and gave himself up for her."
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THE EEYORE SYNDROME
In the past I have spoken of what I call, "The Eeyore Syndrome"--these are Christians who walk around acting like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. They choose to look at the gloomy side of life. Their eyes are cast down, their countenance is cheerless, and they have no enthusiasm or anticipation for life.
Joyful people cannot have The Eeyore Syndrome. The Eeyore Syndrome is not a Fruit of the Spirit. The Eeyore Syndrome is not a realistic view of life nor faith-filled.
William Ward writes words about discouragement that can apply to the Eeyore Syndrome. He says, "Discouragement is dissatisfaction with the past, distaste for the present, and distrust of the future. It is ingratitude for the blessings of yesterday, indifference to the opportunities of today, and insecurity regarding strength for tomorrow. It is unawareness of the presence of beauty, unconcern for the needs of our fellowman, and unbelief in the promises of old. It is impatience with time, immaturity of thought, and impoliteness to God."
(SOURCE: William Ward. Today in the Word, April, 1989, p. 18. From a sermon by Ken Pell, A Fruit-Full Marriage: Joy-full Love, 6/26/2011)
". . . before this month began to prepare our ground against seed-time. In the midst of April we began to set, the weather being then seasonable, which much encouraged us, giving us good hopes of after plenty: the setting season is good till the latter end of May. But it pleased God for our further chastisement, to send a great drought, insomuch, as in six weeks after the latter setting there scarce fell any rain, so that the stalk of that was first set began to send forth the ear before it came to half growth, and that which was later, not like to yield any at all, both blade and stalk hanging the head, and changing the color in such manner, as we judged It utterly dead: our Beans also ran not up according to their wonted manner, but stood at a stay, many being parched away, as though they had been scorched before the fire. Now were our hopes overthrown, and we discouraged, our joy being turned into mourning. To add also to this sorrowful estate in which we were, we heard of a supply [ship] that was sent unto us many months since, which having two repulses before, was a third time in company of another ship three hundred Leagues at Sea, and now in three months time heard no further of her, only the signs of a wreck were scene on the coast, which could not be judged to be any other then the same. So that at once God seemed to deprive us of all future hopes. The most courageous were now discouraged, because God which hitherto had been our only Shield and Supporter, now seemed in his anger to arm himself against us; and who can withstand the fierceness of his wrath. These, and the like considerations moved not only every good man privately to enter Into examination with his own estate between God and his conscience, and so to humiliation before him: but also more solemnly to humble our selves together before the Lord by fasting and prayer. To that end a day was appointed by public authority, and set a-part from all other employments, hoping that the same God which had stirred us Up hereunto, would be moved hereby in mercy to look down upon Us, and grant the request of our dejected souls, if our continuance there might any way stand with his glory and our good. But oh the mercy of our God! Who was as ready to hear as we to ask: For though in the morning when we assembled together, the heavens were as clear and the drought as like to continue as ever it was: yet (our exercise [in prayer] continuing some eight or nine hours) before our departure the weather was over-cast, the clouds gathered together on all sides, and on the next morning distilled such soft, sweet, and moderate showers of rain, continuing some fourteen days, and mixed with such seasonable weather, as it was hard to say whether our withered Corn or drooping affections were most quickened or revived. Such was the bounty and goodness of our God. Of this the Indians by means of Hobomok took notice: who being then in the Town, and this exercise in the midst of the week, said, it was but three days since Sunday, and therefore demanded of a boy what was the reason thereof? Which when he [Hobomok] knew and saw what effects followed thereupon, he and all of them [the Indians with him] admired the goodness of our God towards us, that wrought so great a change in so short a time, strewing the difference between their conjuration, and our invocation on the name of God for rain; theirs being mixed with such storms and tempests, as sometimes in stead of doing them good, it layeth the Corn flat on the ground, to their prejudice: but ours in so gentle and seasonable a manner, as they never observed the like. At the same time Captain Standish being formerly employed by the Governor to buy provisions for the refreshing of the Colony, returned with the same, accompanied with one Mr. David Tomson. . . Now also heard we of the third repulse that our supply [ship] had, of their safe though dangerous return into England, and of their preparation to come to us. So that having these many signs of Gods favor and acceptation, we thought it would be great ingratitude, if secretly we should smother up the same, or content our selves with private thanksgiving for that which by private prayer could not be obtained. And therefore another solemn day was set a-part and appointed for that end, wherein we returned glory, honor, and praise, with all thankfulness to our God, which dealt so graciously with us, whose name for these and all other his mercies towards his Church and chosen ones, by them be blessed and praised now and evermore, Amen."
(Primary Source document, "Good Newes from New England" (1624) Written by Mayflower passenger Edward Winslow, Good Newes from New England was published in London in 1624.)
Ingratitude denotes spiritual immaturity. Infants do not always appreciate what parents do for them. They have short memories. Their concern is not what you did for me yesterday, but what are you doing for me today. The past is meaningless and so is the future. They live for the present. Those who are mature are deeply appreciative of those who labored in the past. They recognize tho...
"In all things preserve integrity; and the consciousness of thine own uprightness will alleviate the toil of business; soften the hardness of ill-success and disappointments, and give thee an humble confidence before God, when the ingratitude of man, or the iniquity of the times may rob thee of other reward."
“Door Knights Without Maidens!” John 17:13-19 Key verse(s): 17-19:“‘Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into this world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.’”
Ingratitude. Doesn’t it seem sometimes that we live in a world that has forgotten entirely how to be grateful for anything? We take so much for granted these days, including the kindnesses and benevolences of others. Perhaps it is because we just don’t have to work as hard to get things as we used to.
I am one of those throw-backs that loves to hold doors for people. When I approach a door to a public building it has always been a habit of mine to cast a quick look over my shoulder to see if there might be anyone, especially some stranger or person weighted by some burden, for which I might at least be able to hold the door for. I enjoy doing this little service and the joy I derive from it far outweighs the benefit others derive from it. Unfortunately, in a culture so steeped with the “I’m as good as you!” attitude, my willingness to hold the door or help someone on with their jacket is often misinterpreted as “aggressive” behavior to be wary of, even indignant of.
Recently I had the occasion to go to the library. The library has always be a great place to practice “door chivalry”, especially the old libraries. In days gone by, library doors were always big, heavy things that swung on huge hinges. On a windy day it was not uncommon for a library door to become stubborn, even cantankerous at the idea of being opened. Unfortunately, libraries of today, as is true of our local library, have doors that open with the press of a button making door chivalry difficult if not comical. Fortunately for “knights” like myself, most buildings still have the manual entry doors that require in the very least some effort to pull them open. Such is the case with our library. I always head for the manual access doors in the hopes that some fair maiden might happen along with an armful of books or I might spy a beleaguered mother with child in arms that would appreciate the assistance. Such was the case the other day as I reached for the door handle and did my area check. Sure enough, not more than ten paces behind me was a young lady with a backpack slung over one shoulder and a laptop case on the other. I could see by the way she was grasping the straps that neither was cooperating very well. What a fortuitous opportunity to practice door chivalry I thought to myself. Grasping the handle, I opened the door wide and stepped aside anticipating the smile that always makes a “door knight” feel so good deep down inside. As I turned to face my maiden in distress I immediately noted that it did not look as if she was at all interested in accommodating me. She veered to the right and headed directly for the automatic door. Pushing the button she looked in my direction and gave me one of those blank stares that leave you completely empty. And she was gone. I was left with only a little wisp of a leaf that blew by me and settled on the debris mat inside the door. I felt like the opera clown; a situation into which I had poured myself earnestly had become a mere comedy.
When we are in the world, sometimes our best efforts are often rewarded with little more than disdain. Holy living, sanctified attempts at serving our God, often go unappreciated by those of the world. This can be disheartening to say the least, especially when you give it your all. Truly sanctified by the blood of Christ, He who came to serve without being served, is not always the rewarding blessing we think it should be. But that is the way of sanctification. Every da...
Game . . . Set . . . Match? (06.15.05--The Tie That Binds--1 John 4:16)
“What more can I do? I’ve given you the best that I have, everything that is mine to give is yours. I simply don’t know what more I can do?” If you’ve never uttered these words yet in your life, it is likely that someday you will. There seems to come a time in everyone’s lives when, feeling that we’ve done all that we can do to affect a certain situation, we simply come to an end, There are no more thoughts to weigh or deeds to initiate. It seems, for the moment, that we have expended our potential and now the “game” rests entirely with the object of our frustration, whether that be spouse, child or employer. In disbelief we stare ingratitude, disobedience or, perhaps, lovelessness face to face and we simply find ourselves out of options with which to deal with these things. Game . . . set . . . match, as they say in tennis.
Why is it that we often reach such moments in life when we’ve given all that we have to give but, for some reason, it’s just not enough? We face a situation that requires more but there is no more to give. As parents I guess that we’ve been there many times. A child cries in the night and we have to get up with it for the who knows how many times. Or, we’re faced with a behavior that surpasses all logical understanding and we stare down at a defiant glare and wonder “From what deep pool of love’s reserve will I find enough love to go one more mile with this child?”
When it seems so obvious to us that all that we could have done has been; when we feel emptied of love’s most precious reserve, hitting that impenetrable wall of helplessness is one of the most lonely and frustrating times in life for a parent. We wonder where the love has gone and when it will return. We may become wearied of our own ability to love and what had been a situation under our love’s control may now become lost.
Yet, the fact remains, how is it that somehow these things always seem to work out anyway. Is it that there is some secret reserve of love in every parent’s heart that is just waiting to be tapped? Actually, when we say we’re emptied out and there is little if anything left on which to draw, we are probably pretty close to the truth. The fact of the matter is that our feelings come and go. A...