“You’re welcome.” Joy comes from saying those words to someone who recognizes and thanks you for an act of service or kindness. When you perform such gracious acts to express respect, kindness and even love, you hope your service will bless the other person. So, when the recipient of your kind service is oblivious or seems entitled, you might say sarcastically, “You’re welcome!”
Ingratitude is an ugly behavior of people who think they are entitled. Ungrateful miscreants are ever present irritants in our contemporary culture causing much friction. I can understand how secular unbelievers are trained by hyper-consumerism to be lousy ingrates.
But I scratch my head explaining Christians who have an ingrate faith. Ingrate faith is an entitlement that God owes you. Ingrate faith is not joyous for God’s work of redemption. Ingrate faith is selfish with a hardened heart and a stubborn mind.
What in your life is not a gift from God? Can you say you have real faith if you are ungrateful to God who blesses your every moment, redeems you from sin and death and bestows every spiritual blessing? I know people the LORD has rescued personally or a loved one from death, yet they are not moved to give thanks. Not thanking God emerges out from a darkened, foolish heart (Rom 1:21). So, if you take the blessings of God for granted you are an ingrate to God. Since God created us and we owe him everything, if we simply “live a good life” for ourselves and we do not live for Him, it is not enough. We are not just spiritual ingrates; we are bona fide ingrates.
If you feel slighted when someone takes your kindness for granted, how does God look upon those who do not give thanks. So, when God gives in our lives, repeatedly how do we remain silent (1 Cor 15:57). Ingratitude is the opposite of the spiritual gift of gratitude or thankfulness.
How do Christians become grateful people? By the work of the Spirit, gratitude arises from faith in the redemption Christ bought so preciously for us. Faith marked by gratitude and thankfulness creates joy within us.
Gratitude is a blessing that comes through faith from the LORD. We joyfully thank God who made us his people to live in his kingdom of light (Col 1:12). I am grateful because God delivers me from sin to live a new life through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Rom 7:25, 2 Cor 2:14)
The funny thing is that gratitude is seriously good for us. Grateful people have better heart health, a boosted immune system, less depressed mood, less fatigue, and they sleep better. Gratitude has the opposite effect of stress. Another study found a simple key to happy and lasting marriage is regularly expressing gratitude. Teenagers who are grateful have higher grades, are less envious, depressed, and materialistic and are more satisfied with their lives.
What does grateful faith look like? Thankfulness expressed in worship (Heb 12:28). As Christians, our lives of faith are to be characterized by thankfulness (Col 3:15-17, 1 Thess 5:18). Rejoicing and praise mark a grateful faith, a grateful Christian (Eph 5:20). We are singing to God with gratitude in our hearts for his victory in our lives (Col 3:16). At the center of our worship is the thanksgiving meal for Christ’s sacrificial cross. Our communion meal is called Eucharist in the Greek meaning “thanksgiving”.
If you are an ingrate to God, you are not living in true faith. Come know blessings of your generous God, give thanks to the LORD who blesses you.
“May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father” (Col 1:11–12)