Saturday, September 13, 2014

Thanks But No Thanks

I wrote the following on October 26, 2005. It was about a young man in our school who I struggled to like, although I never had him in my class. No one apparently had ever taught him how to say, 'thank you.' He's gone now and maybe he has learned. The truth is, I am pretty good at it with other people but not so diligent when it comes to the Lord, the source of all good gifts. Maybe there is still time for me.

I did a favor for a student last week. It wasn't a big thing. In fact, the young man did not even ask for my help; it was completely unsolicited. His response? There was none. No "Thank you," or "I appreciate it," only silence. I have to admit that it made me mad. Like many of you, my day is tightly scheduled and I was running, if not late, at least behind that morning. Even one or two minutes off my timetable can cause a ripple effect that wreaks havoc on my plans. Although I'm positive I gave no reaction that would let him know my feelings, it bothered me for the rest of the day. It's always the little stuff.

The great thing about being a Bible teacher is that I teach lessons that are as much applicable to me as to the kids. Our eighth grade memory verse yesterday was Luke 6:35. Jesus was teaching on the subject of being gracious to those who hate us: 

"But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because HE IS KIND TO THE UNGRATEFUL AND THE WICKED." 
Did you get that last part? Our Father in Heaven is good those who don't say 'Thanks' so how can I do any different? Besides, that student was unappreciative of a small thing while I forget to praise the Lord for the tremendous gifts and blessings he showers on me on a minute-by-minute basis. Talk about having a plank in my own eye while complaining about someone else's speck! And the time thing? We are slaves to Day-Timers and Palm Pilots. Jesus didn't have a personal secretary keeping him on task. He never was too busy to veer off course to heal the sick, comfort the grieving, or hold a little child. I can't imagine our Lord turning down a request for divine intervention with a "I'd really like to help but I have to be in Capernaum in two hours." When Jesus healed ten lepers, he told to fulfill the Law and go make it right with the priests. Only one said "Thank you!" The rest of them neglected the more important responsibility of gratefulness. They did what they were told to do but none of the nine were praised by Jesus. The one who made the detour was the one who won the admiration of the Son of God. It comes down to this: I was exposed by my attitude towards that young man. My glass house reminds me that I need to drop the rocks in my hand. Hopefully, I am not listed in the wicked bunch Jesus spoke of in that passage in Luke but I am positive I fall in the ungrateful category. Maybe I will do better this week. Maybe the Lord will give me another chance to be Godlike in my approach to others. Maybe I can do the right thing because Jesus says that when we do, we are really doing it for him. Maybe then, I won't get mad at a teenager because it goes further up the ladder than just a seventeen year old boy.

Applicable quote of the day:
"Gratitude is the sign of noble souls."

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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1 comment:

Peterinhouston said...

I love the words: "love to your enemy......without expecting get anything back...". I knew you can do it and already did, then how about myself?
Thanks for the teaching.