“What am I supposed to do with ungrateful people?” I asked Stan one morning.
“Wow,” he replied. “That’s a loaded question. What’s going on?”
“Well,” I said, “I’ve got this neighbor who never seems to be grateful for anything. It doesn’t matter what I do or what anyone else does for him, he’s just plain ungrateful and only expects more.”
“Jesus talked about that,” Stan said.
“About ungrateful neighbors? What’d He say?”
“He wasn’t talking just about ungrateful neighbors,” Stan replied, “but about all of us when He pointed out that God is kind to ungrateful people.”
“God is kind to ungrateful people,” I repeated. “And we’re supposed to be like that?”
“Sure seems like it,” Stan replied.
“If that’s what we are to do,” I said, “how’s that supposed to happen?
“In the first place,” Stan replied, “I do think that’s what we’re supposed to do. Secondly, because God knows how difficult, maybe impossible, that is for us to do on our own, He has given us His Holy Spirit whose fruit includes kindness.”
“Oh,” I said, “if I can’t do it on my own, surrender self and get out of the way; give it to the Holy Spirit and let Him manifest His kindness through me. Is it as simple as that?”
“It is,” Stan replied, “but you need to know for a fact that just because something sounds simple, it doesn’t always mean it’s easy, and that includes being kind to ungrateful people!”
Bible verses to consider:
But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Luke 6:35.
But the fruit of the Spirit is . . . kindness. Galatians 5:22.
And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your love and kindness in providing the way to you for eternity through Jesus and His finished work on the cross. Thank you for those who kindly brought me to that truth so I could accept it and be grateful for your provision. I confess that too often I don’t display kindness towards everyone, including those people who are not grateful. I do that because I’m not surrendered to you so you can express the fruit of your Holy Spirit though me. Please forgive the foolishness of trying to live this life without being surrendered to all you have for me, including the fruit of kindness. Please help me follow every step of your lead, whatever that may look like, just as you intend. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you accepted God’s kind, gracious, and free provision of life with Him eternally through the cross of Christ? If no, why? Do you not know of His kindness? Are you not grateful for His kindness? Jesus came for all, including — and, maybe, especially — for the ungrateful. Do you believe that? If you are a Christian with the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing with being kind to the ungrateful people in your life? It’s not easy, but we have the Holy Spirit to help us. Have you asked Him for help? Do you sense any need for change in your view of ungrateful people and how you are to be kind to all, including them? If so, how is that change going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?