Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Kindness to the Ungrateful

Daily Gratitude Year 7 - Day 50: Today, I am grateful He is kind to the ungrateful.

How many times am I ungrateful for the many blessings around our table? We have a table, food to eat, money to purchase that food and people we love deeply. Yet, there are days I forget to be grateful. It is so easy to get wrapped up in life's little details. Things that in the big picture, don't really matter at all. 

Luke 6 is a big chapter in Jesus recorded ministry. He states he is "Lord of the Sabbath". He delivers what we know as "The Sermon on the Mount" with guidelines for daily for living.There are some challenging instructions for living that require us fighting our monsters within our human, sinful nature. 

This passage struck me today, because at first glance I thought about the times it seems that those who are ungrateful and wicked seem to receive blessings. Then, I remembered that there are times... I am ungrateful and wicked, too. It is only by God's grace and Jesus' work on the cross that I don't get what I deserve. 

“Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate." -Luke 6:35-36

The instruction is to love and be compassionate with others... even the ones that drive us crazy and are "wicked" in our eyes. This does not negate the need for justice and doing what is right. But, even in justice, there is room for compassion. 

I recently finished the book Everybody Always by Bob Goff. One of his stories is about a group of prisoners in Minnesota who felt the challenge of trying to express God's love when they are stuck behind bars. They had been reading his first book, Love Does. They came up with a plan. Homeless people need socks. They save their money and buy socks at the commissary. They send the socks to Bob and he makes sure they are given out to those in need. They learned to look beyond their circumstance to serve another human in love. Isn't that amazing? They have found purpose, love is shared and a need is met. Love is crazy and oh, so good! 

I am grateful that His love and kindness are not limited to the days I get it right. I long to have a heart that is as creative as that group of men behind bars in Minnesota when it comes to loving the people that irritate me. 

We can let the burning light of love direct our days when we pray. How do we pray? We can pray to see with His eyes and to love with His heart. 

Today, I am grateful He is kind to the ungrateful.

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