Welcome to part two of my three part series on how to handle ungrateful people in your ministry and in your life.
This is where you’ll start to squirm a little because Jesus pulls no punches when he tells you what following him really looks like. Strap in and read on.
We’re studying Luke 6:34-36. Let’s pick up where we left off.
and lend to them, expecting nothing in return.
Remember in my last post where I said, “think about how offended you get when people do not recognize your gift, your talents or even your kindness”? Well, if you thought Jesus couldn’t take it any further, you were wrong.
Jesus goes as fas as saying you you should not even expect a “thank you”.
“Give and lend according to the law of Christ, and do not let the absence of immediate profit make you lose heart and hope. Do you lose heart when you don’t get an immediate, reciprocal reaction from those you serve be it family or co-worker? How then can you love your enemies if you approach them with this kind of expectation?
Ask yourself what you expect from others
- What do you expect from those who do not know Christ?
- What do you expect from your family?
- What do you expect from your co-workers?
- What do you expect from your pastor or church?
If you’re in youth ministry,
- What do you expect from your students?
- What do you expect from your leaders?
- What do you expect from your parents?
Do any of your answers sound like what might be tripping you up when it comes to freely loving others?
Giving up your expectations frees you up to love without judgement.
Where are the other nine?
Luke 17: 11-17 Tells the story of Jesus healing a group of lepers.
When Jesus healed the 10 lepers and only one came back to thank him, Give glory to God, Jesus asked, where are the other nine and that wasn’t Jesus being needy. It was a honest question.
“Thank you” is a courtesy, but it should never be a condition for doing the right thing.
Being a parent is a thankless job but a parent doesn’t quit parenting because their children are don’t say thank you at every turn.
Why do some people seem to give up giving or doing extra for others? I think it’s because people are co-dependent on the gratitude of others, they always expect emotional compensation for their hard work.
Jesus did not quit giving or quit healing people because the other nine didn’t show back up. Jesus also didn’t take back his healing from them as some kind of revenge for not being thankful, he let them walk away, healing in tact.
This is what it means when God is kind to ungrateful and wicked men.
Being God is a thankless job. God doesn’t quit being God because he isn’t thanked. So how does God do it? How does he continue to give without being hurt because he is not being thanked? Simple, He has no expectation of us.
This doesn’t mean He doesn’t hope. He hopes our hearts will turn towards him. Jesus died in the hope we would turn from our sin and embrace salvation. We can hope that others will respond to our love, our gift or our service but we cannot expect it (we can have faith) or demand it.
Be hopeful with your enemies. Don’t expect sinners to act like saints and don’t expect saints to be perfect. Practice laying what to expect and you will be on your way to loving like Jesus.