This is the con-cluding part of this article first published last week in page 26.
Gratitude, states Dr Samuel Johnson, “is a fruit of great cultivation. You do not find it among gross people.” Ingratitude is natural like weeds. Gratitude is like a rose. It has to be fed and watered and cultivated and loved and protected.” Dale Carnegie in one of his books “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living writes: “People, the world over have been wallowing in ingratitude induced self-pity, anger and unforgiveness.
Even Shakespeare’s King Lear lamented concerning his daughters,. How Sharper than a serpent’s tooth, it is to have a thankless child.”
This heart rending moral monster called ingratitude is attaining a phenomenal growth like a phoenix, because human nature has always remained the same except transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus.
To shrug off the temptation that characterised ingratitude, Marcus Aurelius, one of the wisest men who ever ruled the Roman Empire adopted as a maxim. “I am going to meet people today who talk too much, people who are selfish, egotistical, ungrateful. But I won’t be surprised or disturbed, for I couldn’t imagine a world without such people.”
Therefore, it is natural for people to forget to be grateful.
One of the passages that diagnoses the human condition is Romans Chapter One verses 29 – 23.
These startling words are used by the Holy Spirit, “They were filled with all manner of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice, full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity, they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them but approve those who practice them”.
It is imperative to state that it is ingratitude that paved way for the decadent, habits highlighted above, even as scripture states: “For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness… although they knew God they did not honour Him as God or give thanks to Him” (Romans 1:18-21).
It must also be stated that the patriarch and matriarch of humanity, sinned because they were apparently ungrateful to God. A sense of gratitude no doubt, would have made them appreciate God for his graces, material blessings and fellowship and would have said No to the serpent when he came tempting them to doubt the “goodness, faithfulness and holiness” of God.
In his book, “The Imitation of Christ,” Thomas Kempis states about ingratitude; “And so the gifts of divine influence cannot spring up in us because we are ungrateful to the giver.. For grace will always be added to the truly grateful… Therefore be grateful for least things, and you will be fit to receive the greater. If you peer into the excellence of the giver, no gift will seem small or worthless.. if he should give pains and chastening there must be thanks, for whatever he allows to come upon us always make for our welfare.
“He who wishes to keep God’s favour should be grateful for grace given.” To stem the debilitating consequences, the sense of ingratitude precipitates, adopt the recipe advanced by Dale Carnegic in his book, “How to Stop Worry and Start Living”.
1. “Instead of worrying about ingratitude, let’s expect it. Let’s remember that Jesus healed ten lepers in one day – and only one thanked him.”
2. “Let’s remember that the only way to find happiness is not to expect gratitude, but to give for the joy of giving.
3. “Let’s remember that gratitude is a cultivated trait; so if we want our children to be grateful, we must train them to be grateful.”
And I add, inculcating gratitude in our children can be effective, if we express it by our life as well.
He who wishes to keep God’s favour should be grateful for grace given.