Uncommon mercy leads to uncommon thankfulness. This may seem obvious, but if you or I are going to show thankfulness/gratitude, we first need someone to thank. But have you ever considered how the amount of our thankfulness—the quality of our thankfulness—directly corresponds to the reason for our thankfulness?
Let’s say we’re in the checkout line at the grocery store. You and I are planning to fire up the grill when we get back to my house and have just what we need for tonight’s meal on the conveyor belt. The bill won’t be more than 25 dollars. While we stand there waiting for the lady in front of us to finish checking out, we’re so wrapped up in our own conversation we completely miss a wonderful act of kindness. While we weren’t paying attention, this kind lady quietly told the cashier to ring up our items so she could pay for them. Next thing you know, she’s gone and the cashier is explaining what happened. You’re thankful, right!?
But now, let’s imagine your car breaks down. You’re at the shop and the service rep has bad news. Your vehicle needs a new engine, and it’s going to cost $6,000 dollars. That’s money you don’t have. You can’t afford to fix the car you have and you can’t afford a different car either. Dejected, you say, “let me call my ________.” Deep down, you know that phone call isn’t going to resolve anything. After the call, you walk back to the counter to ask the service rep if there is anything else they can do to help you out. That’s when your jaw hits the floor. “I don’t need to help you out, because that fella driving away in the old Cutlass just did.”
Little did you know, the 85-year-old widower waiting to pick up his ’84 Oldsmobile Cutlass from an oil change, had been listening in the whole time. When you went to call your ________, he told the service rep to send him your bill! You’re thankful, right!?
Both acts of kindness lead to thankfulness. And yet, while both scenarios may seem highly unlikely to us, it’s easier to imagine someone picking up a $25 grocery bill than a $6,000 car repair, isn’t it? And while you would not doubt be very thankful to be on the receiving end of either act of kindness, wouldn’t you be more thankful in the scenario that will have the more significant impact on your life going forward?
The amount of our thankfulness—the quality of our thankfulness—directly corresponds to the reason for our thankfulness.
This week at Living Shepherd, we’ll begin a 3-week series on thankfulness. This week’s focus will look at how uncommon mercy leads to uncommon thankfulness. Looking forward to seeing you Sunday morning!