Everyone knows the story of David and Goliath. Most people know the story of David and Bathsheba. Fewer people know the story of David, Nabal, and Abigail.
It concerns those times when we un grateful or even feel insulted or not appreciated.
In this story we see a surprising response from David which we may not expect from a man after God’s own heart. But thanks to the wisdom of a godly woman, David comes to his senses and calms down. The story can be read in 1 Samuel 25:1-38. (click on verse to read)
Rabbi Moshe P. Weisblum wrote “It is basic human nature to want to feel appreciated, acknowledged and grateful for a job well done, for our efforts, our time, our talents, our skills. A simple thank you goes a long way.”
When was the last time you said to yourself, “I did so much for so-and-so, but it seems like they don’t feel appreciate it?,” or “This relationship seems like a one way street. There’s no reciprocation.” Sometimes in our personal life, we may feel unappreciated by our own family members, wives, husbands, parents, siblings, and children. Even friends and acquaintances sometimes seem to take our friendship for granted. The same is true of bosses and co-workers. And sometimes it can even be a fair and generous boss who is not appreciated by his or her employees. Do you know someone who has ever felt underappreciated? It happens more often than not.
The feeling of being used and unappreciated is a painful feeling. Like David it can change and mess with our head if we are not careful. Every day we encounter people who need encouragement: A caregiver drags with exhaustion. A single parent feels lost. A spouse who feels unappreciated. A newly hired worker is discouraged because of his mistakes. A widow faces the raw wounds of her grief. A store clerk wonders if human courtesy exists. Mom’s and dad's that simply feel used by their kids. The words we speak to those around us are so very important and are a way to show Christ’s love and give support to those who are in need.
What about you? Are you good at telling others how grateful you are? I’m not just talking about thanking God. Today I would like to focus more on how well we show our gratitude towards those around us. Like Nabel, if you ask most people if they are ungrateful, they will probably reply, “Of course not!” However, this attitude is so ingrained in some of our lives, we are blind to it and do not see how ungrateful we really are.
But how can you tell if you are ungrateful? Are there things that identify an ingratitude attitude? And if so, what can you do about it?
Webster’s Dictionary defines “Ingratitude” as: “Forgetfulness of, or poor return for, kindness received.” It can also be defined as not appreciating or valuing what you have, or have been given. Unexpressed gratitude is also ingratitude!”
What about an example of Ingratitude in Christ’s Day Most are familiar with the many Bible accounts of Christ’s miracles. He walked on water, turned water into wine, fed thousands of people from a small amount of food, cast out demons and healed many people. But, although He healed many, how many do you think actually came back to thank Him?
Luke’s gospel records one such miraculous healing. In this account, Christ healed ten lepers.
“Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosymet him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”
When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.
One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
Between these lines I can almost hear how sad Jesus was. Of the ten lepers, only one returned to thank Christ. Think of that statement. Only one of the ten thanked Him for healing them of an awful disease! Even though Jesus’ reaction was not quite the same as David’s, it obviously hurt when those people did not come back to say, “Thank you.”
All too often the sad reality is that we do not realize how much our lack of gratitude can affect others.
How many of those people around us feel unappreciated by their own family members, wives, husbands, parents, siblings, and children, even our friends or acquaintances that we come in contact with. And what kind of effect is it having on their heart?
What kind of effect does it have on you?
What I am proposing today is that we need to Encouraging Others by showing our gratitude:
#1) Ask God to show you those who are overwhelmed—the single parent, the abandoned spouse, or stressed out father who needs a word of hope, or a friend who feels weighed down by their spouse’s infidelity or their parent’s impending death. Bring them a flower or a cup of coffee and tell them, “I know this is a hard time, but never forget that I’ve got your back and I am praying for you.”
When we see a young mother trying to deal with tired, whiny children. Give them a hug and encourage them and let them know, “You’re doing fine. With little kids, some days are hard. But you’re a great mom.”
#2) Affirm the caregivers. Try to understand the physical and emotional drain that often accompanies such a responsibility of taking care of one’s elderly and sometimes sick parents or loved one. Watch for chances to tell caregivers, “I know it’s not easy, but God can see what you do for your loved one and is very pleased.”
#3) Be sensitive to the needs of the grieving long after a death. I still feel sad at times at the loss of my dad. And we need to realize the even though a friend who may have experienced such a loss can paste a smile on their face and say they are ‘OK’, realize that they may still be hurting, lonely, and sad in the inside.
#4) Show appreciation and gratitude to those you work with everyday. The grind of the workplace needs the oil of kind and affirming words like: “I appreciate your diligence what you do here.” “I’m really glad that you are here. It makes a real difference.” “Thanks for helping me out here”. “Good work.”
#5) Spread the fragrance of Christ through appreciation and gratitude to people in the service industries. Thank, and even tip those who do those menial tasks for you; Waitresses, check out lady, garbage man, mailman, paper boy, etc. Let them know that they are appreciated!
#6) Build up your family members with public and private words of affirmation. “Thanks for working so hard on the yard.” “I appreciate you doing so much around the house.” “Wow, you are a great bargain hunter.” “Thank you so much for filling the gas tank for me.” “I’m so blessed to have you as a child.” “Mom, dad, I can never say thank you enough.” Whatever it takes, show your gratitude regularly. It will pay of in the long run.
#7) Also it good to Remember Your Spiritual Family Thank those who do their best to serve Christ in some manner. Satan seems to work overtime to discourage them. If someone goes out of their way to serve or does something special in their service to Christ encourage them and show your appreciation.
Don’t underestimate the power of encouragement. Sometimes it won’t cost you anything but your kind words. But other times it takes a bit more effort to lift someone up after they get feeling unappreciated and discouraged. Abigail made a serious effort to pick David back up and show her appreciation.
Let encouragement and sharing you gratitude become a lifestyle.
Proverbs 15:4 says
“The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life,”
And 25:11 says
“A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”
And of course Hebrews 10:24-25 that says,
“consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
My encouragement today is that you make it a daily practice to spread the fragrance of Christ’s love to others through showing your appreciation to those you come in contact with. Don’t make the mistake of becoming an ungrateful person.
For more lessons click on the following link: http://granvillenychurchofchrist.org/?page_id=566