There are three basic realities or principles regarding servanthood that every believer must learn. There’s much more to learn than this. But if you don’t learn these you will sooner or later throw in the towel – and probably not later. Here’s the first reality:
Humans are basically ungrateful.
We see it all around us, don’t we? Just not so easy to see it in the mirror. God’s never surprised at human ingratitude. He has and continues to act in mercy not because of the gratitude humans express, but because it is His nature to do so. Don’t get me wrong, ingratitude is sinful. But it never catches God by surprise or changes who He is.
It truly is marvelous to have your eyes opened to the amazing grace and generosity of God towards those who do not deserve it. (If you’ve ever wondered why Christianity makes such a big deal about the Cross, without it we could never come to see how ugly we are without God.) As an awakened recipient of God’s grace and mercy, I have at times been filled with heart-gushings of gratitude toward Him for His amazing love in nature, providence, incarnation, and the redemption we have in His Son.
Sadly, I have much more often taken God’s grace for granted. I am still regularly guilty of ingratitude, not only toward God but also toward those who have serve me in His name. Beginning with my parents right on down to my wife and fellow believers, I am so quick to enjoy the benefits of someone serving me. And often these benefits come without me even acknowledging them, must less expressing deep thankfulness.
And I am not alone in this wickedness! And neither are you. And that’s a big reason serving others can sometimes result in barrenness in our own souls. If you are struggling with weariness in serving others, or worse, resentment – get ready for a breakthrough! In the next post I will touch on two additional principles that are very helpful.
Before I close today I’d like to invite you to join me and ask God to forgive us for ingratitude – toward Him and others. Jesus said that we should, “Judge not, lest you be judged.” He said this because we are usuallyguilty of the same things we are resentful of in others. Give thanks today to God for His many mercies. Why not open your mouth and bless Him out loud? He’s been so good to us.
Next, is there someone in your life that you need to express thanksgiving to? Someone who has often served you with little or no expressed thanksgiving from you? Perhaps a parent or spouse? Or a friend or fellow Christian? Why not take some time today to write a note of thanks? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
More next time.