It’s not going to happen as often as we would like it, but the lack of gratefulness toward us may expose in more detail the depth of His work in our own heart. Be encourage, Christian! The LORD Himself is your reward.
Every now and then.
It wouldn’t hurt to hear those magic words, once in a while… Thank you. Right? After all, they could be a significant confirmation of the work we are doing, serving those who are not like us.
And God knows how confusing disciple-making in cultural diversity could be, since we find ourselves serving outside of our cultural preferences.
And we could use some sort of guidance, here.
Without our cultural points of reference we have walked out of the map we know and value, and hearing words of appreciation can provide some guidance in the midst of it all.
Now, the problem is that our longing for those pats on the back could also be part of our idolatry.
From that perspective, then, the lack of thank-you’s maybe a useful and productive element in our own discipleship, in the cultivation process for our own heart.
Acid bath, anyway.
If we are going to experience the pain of no gratitude, then, we must understand it is part of God’s plan for us. What is its purpose? Our sources of delight and sorrow put His work in us in high relief: we can see it more clearly in the contrast created between what our heart delights on and what is sorrowful for, and the realities of this life, realities like the lack of positive conformation from those around us.
Sorrow, under the guide of our God, is like an acid bath for our heart, exposing its core for us to see it and know it better.
Treasure, expectations, records.
What do you see in your exposed heart? What do you expect, really, out of all the effort you are putting in making disciples of the nations? What do you treasure the most of your journey as a humble follower of Jesus Christ?
These are difficult but useful questions we all should be asking ourselves, for our own benefit. But remember: it is of almost no use if we don’t ask them often.
To maximize their benefit for you, as God the Holy Spirit continues cultivating you, consider sharing the answers to these questions with a fellow believer. It must be someone who you trust, preferably someone who is also making disciples in a culturally diverse setting.
Keep a record of this self-evaluation, as a way to build a testimonial of His work in you.
Call to action
Be honest. Could you say, with Jeremiah…
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.” Lam 3:24
even when no one expresses gratitude for what you do? Repent, confess, and celebrate accordingly. And remember that your experience is useful of others. Please, then, consider sharing it using the section below.
Remember His grace, Follow Him in humility, Cultivate constantly, All in cultural diversity.