Now it’s time for us to flip gratitude around and talk about what the opposite of gratitude is and how that affects us.
The opposite of gratitude is ingratitude or thanklessness or being ungrateful. Have you heard of someone being called an ingrate, like “Joe Schmo is such an ingrate?” They are ungrateful and thankless and selfish, even.
I use the term ingrate a lot when I come across ungrateful people. I’ve been ungrateful many times myself. After all, it’s easy not to let gratitude in when we have such high expectations for our lives. In a word, we’re selfish and spoiled.
Modern conviences are all around us so having indoor plumbing instead of an outhouse or a dishwashwer instead of having to hand-wash dishes or a washing machine instead of having to hand-wash clothes all seem like things we should have, right? We expect them. They are not optional equipment. They come with our 21st century lifestyle. And we expect them to work when we need them to.
Other things and people are like that in our lives, too. In our mind, our friends are there to help us when we need help and support. We assume they will be there. We expect it. And with expectations like that, it’s easy to take advantage of the people we love and care about us the most, isn’t it? We don’t even realize we are taking advantage of them. Our expectation is simply that they will be there when WE need them.
The thing is, our friends and our family are not like modern conveniences. They should not be an expectation of living in the 21st century, the kind of thinking like if my dishwasher is dependable, then so should my friends be dependable. No.
We need to stop (and I’m including myself in this) expecting our friends and family to operate when we need them to operate. We forget, in our ingratitude, that they have their own lives and their own needs and their own abilities. We expect them to operate when it’s convenient for us. We are ungrateful. And in our ingratitude, these relationships lose their value.
Ingratitude is a disease in our modern times. We let a little bit of ingratitude in and soon enough, it’s like a wildfire that’s out of control. We forget to be grateful. We forget to be thankful. We forget to say those two little words that mean so much “Thank you.”
Ingratitude and thanklessness are all over our modern society. We expect, and we aren’t so thankful. We take advantage and we aren’t so giving. We demand and we aren’t so flexible. It’s all about us and what we need and at what time.
We expect to have money. We expect to be able to travel when we want and where we want. We expect food to be on our table, We expect technology. We expect peace and freedom. We expect that God will provide all of this for us. And with all the things we have, we forget to be grateful for it.
Where ingratitude lives, forgiveness can’t be found. Where ingratitude lives, mercy is lost. Where ingratitude lives, grace is MIA.
Live a life that matters. Make a difference. Let gratitude in and let it be a shining example to everyone that your life touches.
And chase away ingratitude. There is no room for it in our lives.
I Timothy 4:4-5 ” For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.”