TEXT: Luke17:11-17 KJV
“Ingratitude “can be defines 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!
Jesus’ healing of the ten lepers gives an example of how highly God values thankfulness (Luke 17:12–19). Jesus healed all ten men, but only one returned to thank Him (verse 15). The Bible specifically records that the thankful leper was not even a Jew. He was a Samaritan, a fact that drove home the idea that Jews were not the only people who could reach the heart of God. His questions “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?” (verse 17) show His disappointment at the ingratitude of the majority.
We may blame the Nine Ungrateful lepers for their neglect in thanking the LORD for their healing; but, are we any different from them when we demonstrate gross ingratitude for the many kindness demonstrated to us by those whom God sent our way? But how can we claim to be grateful to the lord Jesus for saving us?
WHAT THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT INGRATITUDE/UNTHANKFULNESS
In spite of having enjoyed the goodness of the Lord, sometimes we feel that we are abandoned by the Lord. Even King David who had always experienced the comforting presence of the God fell into the trap of doubting God. In Psalm 13 : 1, he laments, “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?”
Most Christian live as if they are the only one existing on the surface of this planet, regularly forget the blessings of the Lord and remember Him only when there is an emergency in their life. Whenever they have to undergo bitter experiences in their spiritual journey, they get upset and irritated and sometimes go to the extreme extend of denying the Lord like Peter.
Whether we are prospering or undergoing agonies in our lives, realize the fact that we are not alone in our spiritual journey. Our loving Lord is always with us. Even when walking through the fierce shadows of death, King David says with a grateful heart, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23 : 4).
God knows how we are made, and He designed us to thrive when we are humble, moral, and thankful. When we are arrogant, immoral, and ungrateful, we cannot have fellowship with Him, nor can we experience all it means to be created in the image of God (James 4:6). We are being reminded that a grateful heart is a happy heart (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
11Timothy 3:2 describes what people will be like in the last days, and one characteristic is ingratitude. When pride and self-rule become fashionable, the human heart has no one to thank. We should be wise to heed Paul’s rhetorical questions “What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?” (1 Corinthians 4:7).
Once we have hardened our hearts to the point that we no longer see God as the source of our gifts, nothing is off-limits. We become a law unto ourselves. One reason the Bible takes such a strong stance against unthankfulness and ingratitude may be that God knows that the end result of such arrogance is a sinful mind (Romans 1:24).
LET US CONSIDER SEVERAL DEMONSTRATIONS OF “INGRATITUDE”
- The Gentiles were not Grateful to God (Romans 1:20-21).
Beginning at vs.18 and continuing through the end of this chapter, Paul showed why, God gave up on the Gentiles. One sin committed by the Gentiles was “not being thankful.” According to vs.21, the Gentiles had plenty of evidence to lead them to believe in God, but they chose to reject Him.
- B. The Israelites were not thankful on many Occasions.
We read about 3 occasions in Exodus 15:22-24; 16:2-3; 17:1-3. See how ingratitude and murmuring go together?
- C. Nine of ten lepers healed by Jesus did not thank Him (Luke 17:17).
These illustrations should cause us to realize that “ingratitude” is a serious problem.
LET US CONSIDER WHY WE MUST OVERCOME “INGRATITUDE”
- We must overcome “ingratitude” because the Bible teaches us repeatedly to be thankful (Colossians 3:15, 17; 4:2).
- “Ingratitude” is a sin because it is a violation of God’s law (1 John 3:4).
WHY ARE WE SO UNGRATEFUL TO GOD/HUMANITY
- We Are Ungrateful Because of Affluence
In 1 Timothy 6:6 the apostle Paul addresses those who are rich in this present world. Each of us, compared to the rest of the world are rich beyond our wildest dreams.
- We Are Ungrateful People Because of Pride
We develop pride because we think we have earned all the things we have received. We say to ourselves, “I’ve worked hard to get that job. Psalm 10:4 reads, “In his pride the wicked does not seek God; in all his thoughts there is no room for Him.” And in our pride we have forgotten that it is God who gives good gifts from above.
- We Are Ungrateful People Because Of Who We Hang Around With
The Bible says, “Bad Company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33. And the time we spend with negative ungrateful people will influence us whether we want it to or not.
Some of us even come to church and complain. “I hope they don’t sing too many songs today, someone’s sitting on my chair. Can you believe it, the preacher’s preaching to long again today, People say all that and don’t even know they’re complaining. It’s a bad habit.
- We Are Ungrateful People Because of Circumstances
Remember when Moses took the Israelites into the desert and they became entrapped by the Red Sea with Pharaoh’s army in heavy pursuit of them they complained. Exodus 14:10-11 says, “the Israelites looked up and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They said to Moses, ’Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die.” The Israelites first reaction to their tough circumstances was to grumble. Maybe today, it is hard for you to be thankful because you are trapped by a situation in your life that is really tough.
CONSEQUENCES OF LIVING UNGRATEFUL LIVES:
- We will not be able to see the divine opportunities ahead of us.( Ephesians 1:3)
- We will focus on the actions of people instead of the processes of God (Joseph)
- We will worship pleasant circumstances rather than be satisfied with God alone
- We will give place to the devil who operates in lust, greed and pride
- We will repel key people around us
- We will suffer continual discouragement and even depression: fighting depression is not medication but worshipping the Creator and being thankful what He has done for us. (James 1:17).
- We will miss our greatest purpose in life: to love and worship God.
Ingratitude is a DEADLY SIN! The consequence for this sin is not to be taken lightly!
HOW TO OVERCOME INGRATITUDE
- Practice the Golden Rule (Mathew 7:12)
- Avoid Complaining At All Costs(Philippians 2:14)
- Make a Personal Choice To Rejoice(1 Thessalonians 5:18)
- Develop The Daily Discipline Of Giving Thanks ((James 1:17)
Always remember that ingratitude is a deadly sin. God directly calls it evil! An ungrateful attitude is something that most are unaware that they have, but everyone else sees!. Although few will tell you about it, ingratitude sticks out like a sore thumb.
Often, it goes unchanged and untreated, because of people’s ignorance of it. It is something that, after many years of “perfecting,” needs to be completely removed!
Remember Paul’s three commands for true Christians:
(1) “Rejoice evermore.” (2) “Pray without ceasing.” (3) “In everything give thanks.”
Do not let this sin keep you from God’s many promises! Do not let it steal your happiness. God did something very special for us a long time ago (John 3:16).
Let us be thankful for the sacrifice that God and His Son made for us.
The choice is yours!
UYO TOWN CHURCH OF CHRIST, 20 PAUL BASSEY STREET, UYO
SERMON PRESENTED BY BRO. UKO EDEM UDO ON 27TH OCTOBER, 2019