Quick Links: Prayer Requests | Leadership | Photos | Donations

 

 

GRATITUDE! Living In Abundance. Jn. 10:10b. Feb., 2013

This is simply the ability of an individual(s) to say “thanks” for an act of goodness/kindness done to him/her by another individual(s); it is the capacity to be grateful for a good done to us by other people.

In some cultures of the world when someone does a good thing to an individual, all that is expected of the individual (recipient of the goodness), is simply to turn around thank the other fellow and walk away. And that’s it; done with and forgotten! Conversely, I once lived among a People with a very interesting and unique culture. They will never forget. Particularly when what you did for them is an act of goodness and kindness; they will never forget. They will thank you immediately the act is done to them. Yet, when they see you even two days later, they will still thank you, again, for what you did for them: “the other day”. If they see you after seven days, they will still thank you again for what you had done for them even 7 days ago. The fact that they expressed their gratitude immediately after the good deed was done and yet 2 days later would not really stop them from showing appreciation even after 7 days.

That really got me thinking. The people of this second culture are not fools. In fact many of them are very intelligent, very educated and many are servants of the most high God. What is it that they know about gratitude that many others don’t seem to know about? That really got my attention and I started to research the scriptures in search of possible answers. I also tried to see how we feel, even now as individuals, when people show appreciation to us for the little we had done to be of help and assistance to them. I discovered that virtually everyone, even including the mean and wicked; the tight-fisted; the irrational and the embittered souls would cherish and be happier when anyone appreciates whatever act of kindness or goodness that they were able to show to others.

Friend, I have come to realize that perhaps we as individuals and our world would be a much better place, possibly free of strife and trouble if only people would develop and maintain the habit of showing gratitude for whatever act of goodness/kindness that was done to them, irrespective of the magnitude of such acts. When we appreciate people for what they had done, they have the natural tendency to do even more. The converse is also true. When we don’t appreciate people for what they had done for us; when we rather payback kindness and goodness with ingratitude, evil and sarcasm, we tend to put in motion a huge natural force of hostility against us by man and even God.

Gratitude can open shut doors; Gratitude can cause minds of enemies to become those of friends. The spirit of Gratitude can open up opportunities that were hitherto not available or that were hitherto available but not apparent. Gratitude can even open doors of blessings that are reserved only for a select few. Ingratitude on the other is a door closer. Period! Ingratitude will lead to half blessings or no blessings at all. In gratitude hurts the soul and there is nothing good about it. Ingratitude can kill. You know why? I have discovered that ungrateful people are always victims of their own ego and personality. They feel too much about themselves; they esteem themselves so highly; they boast so much about themselves to a point where they think it reduces their very self-bloated ego to accept and believe that another individual could, of the truth, have offered them a helping hand at their most low moments of existence; when they couldn’t afford to do it alone. Such ungrateful people think that thanking someone else for helping them would diminish their self-delusionary esteem. Such false esteem of one’s self can actually be very destructive. The Bible says that pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit is lifted up before a fall (Prov. 16:18). Face it! God has allowed companionship in this world; men and women, brothers and sisters, friends and neighbors, for us to be of  help to each other and when we have received such help, we should thank God and show gratitude to man and more doors may even be opened to us.

In the scriptures we see two classical examples. In the old testament in the book of 1 Sam. 25. We see the story of a man called Nabal the husband of Abigail. He was a very prosperous man and yet a very unwise man indeed. One stupid act of ingratitude ultimately cost him not only his riches but his life. David had previously done him a favor. (1Sam. 25:7). Nabal’s shepherds and animals would have been in trouble if not for the goodness/protection of David and his men. David did that even without knowing exactly who Nabal was.  However, a time came when David needed a little favor from Nabal. He wanted that man of Belial (as his wife called him) to show a little kindness and gratitude in return for what David had done for him. No! that was never to be; Nabal paid David back with insult and ingratitude. Nabal said: “Who is David? Who is the son of Jesse”?  David was so annoyed that he decided to kill Nabal. However, Abigail intervened on behalf of Nabal. I am sure that if not for that intervention, Nabal would have died in the hands of David (1 Sam. 25:33-34). But did Nabal still perish? Yes he did; Barely 10 days after; this time not in the hands of David, but in the hands of the God of heaven. He left behind all the wealth. That ugly end would have been prevented if only Nabal knew how to show gratitude for goodness done to him even by a stranger. Do you know what? David inherited the most precious possession of Nabal; Abigail became David’s wife. We should be very careful; an act of ingratitude could cost the Ungrateful soul, Everything!

In Lk. 17:12-19. Jesus healed 10 leprous men. When they got healed, only one person went back to say ‘thanks’ to the messiah and give glory to God that had healed him. Jesus asked a question and said, “were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine. There are not found that returned to give glory to God save this stranger”. That one person was a Samaritan. Jesus called him a stranger. In today’s understanding and language, the nine others who didn’t go back, were obviously non-strangers. They could be likened to individuals who have been in the church for so long, who have become so familiar with church doctrine and tradition, who have become so acquainted with how the church works that, even in their troubles, nothing (no miracle) is news anymore to them. The pastor is their friend, they are well- connected to the high and mighty, they have seen all sorts of miracles, signs and wonders that nothing really means anything, anymore to them. Their hearts have become so hardened, and their visions so beclouded that even an awesome miracle as big as the cure of “leprosy” had become so trivial that they wouldn’t bother to go “back” and show gratitude to the king of kings. The only fellow that went back was a total stranger; a new comer, a fellow that nobody really knew before. That is the one who understood the full weight of what he had received and went back to Jesus to say: “Thank you very much”.

What really caught my attention, which is a very obvious direct consequence and repercussion of ingratitude, is what Jesus didn’t say to the nine ungrateful persons. Jesus said to the one person that went back “Arise, go thy way; thy faith hat made thee whole”. He made that final declaration only to the one person that went back. This was not said to the other nine that departed. One could therefore reason, deductively, that the faith(s) of the other nine persons didn’t make them whole. I am convinced that, simply because of this one final blessing that the nine persons didn’t get, it is very likely that even when they received momentary cleansing from their leprosy, they were not made whole and it would be a matter of time and their leprosy would, ravaging, return back to them. Persons such as the nine others, would go about saying negative things about the miracles they received and the vessel God used to give them the miracle. The truth however, is that they were the ones that made the miracle not to be permanent as a result of ingratitude.

Similar things are still happening even today in the body of believers. There are individuals who when they are in need of a breakthrough, in one area of their lives or the other, would run to the church; they would run to their pastors; they would run to God and promise “heaven on earth”. Whatever God or the pastor tells them to do, at that point of their maximum desperation, they would promise to do; No arguments at all! For instance; “come to church on time”. Yes sir! “Fast seven days and let some of the days be with dry fasting” Yes sir! “Give gifts to your neighbors so that God will bless you” Yes sir! They will not argue.  

It is always very disappointing that the moment such individuals get breakthrough(s); the moment they receive that good deed from the Lord, many of them like, the nine lepers, would takeoff and you may never see them again even in the church. Subsequently when you see them or hear from/about them what they would say would really make you wonder why such evil can be paid back for good under the Sun. For instance some would say “what did you do for me after all? Is it just because you prayed for me that you now want me to be a permanent member of your church? Because of that little thing you did for me that is why I will now become your slave?” Some of them, at this time, would begin to question the anointing and integrity of the man of God or the God of man that gave them the breakthrough in the first place. No, they missed the point! If only they had wisdom, they would have known that the person who is going to receive yet more blessings is the individual who shows gratitude for an act of goodness and kindness they received from God and man.

If you say thanks to the Almighty God, he will do even more for you. We shouldn’t forget that there is much more provision in the store house where the initial blessings came from. If we show appreciation for the initial good, more will definitely follow. The Earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. The world and they that dwell therein” (Ps.24:1).

We have to make sure we develop the ability and characteristic of showing appreciation and thanks for the goodness/kindness we received from man and God. Don’t take such for granted. You may ask “pastor how do I show gratitude?”. You can do that in many scriptural ways. I am not talking about giving bribes here (as Christians we should neither give nor receive bribes). I am not even talking about giving material things as a way of gratitude and appreciation (except you are led by the Holy Spirit). Just thank people for what they had done. Go to them and say it with your mouth; you can call on phone, send a text, write on Facebook, twitter etc. Those are not expensive to do!

Thank God for how far he has helped you every inch of the way; tell people how what they did for you in the past has helped you with the present in pursuit of goals in the future. Let them know how  that little help was able to give you a little positive bump down the road. Don’t forget when you do this people will be happier with you and God Almighty will also be happier with/for you. May be this will help to make our world a much better place to live in.

If you have not given your life to Christ please do so now for tomorrow might be too late.

God bless you.

Pastor Fidelis Nwachukwu

RCCG Throne of Grace Parish

32 E. Washington St

Hagerstown MD 21740, USA

Email: rccgthroneofgraceparish@ymail.com

Website: http://www.rccgthroneofgraceusa.org

 

Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 01:04pm