Appreciation Not Required

Did you ever have someone in your life who you tried your best to be loving and compassionate towards? They might be having a hard time and so you give them a break, cut them some slack. You do this because you really care about them, and because it is what God would want you to do.

Then a little bird comes and whispers in your ear, “You know, they aren’t cutting you the same slack. They don’t return your compassion or thoughtfulness. In fact, they are plotting against you.”

What’s your first reaction? “Well how dare they,” you think. “That’s the last time I’m nice to them. They don’t appreciate what I’ve done for them at all! We’ll just see if I ever give them the benefit of the doubt again. It’s time they start towing the line.”

Who was that little bird anyway? He seemed to have your best interests in mind, but I’m not so sure. I suspect the little bird might be more of a little devil, and he’s trying to get you to react to this piece of very important information he shared.

But is your first instinct the appropriate reaction? It is the natural human reaction, but is it what God wants? Read a few Psalms in which David asks God to destroy his enemies and you might think so.

Then there’s the question of whether the actions of the others, even assuming the information your little bird shared was true, is even relevant to how you should treat them?

Jesus came to save all mankind. He wept over Jerusalem. He showed love and compassion we can’t even fathom with our puny human hearts. In return, they whipped Him, spit on Him, mocked Him, and crucified Him.

Did Jesus then become indignant? Did He say, “Well forget that, I’m just going to get off this cross and head back home to Heaven right now. See if I show these people compassion and love any more!”?

No, He did not. His response was to say, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34. It didn’t matter if the  people appreciated what He was doing for them, He did it anyway. He did it because He really loved them. He did it because it was the divine thing to do.

So the next time a little bird comes along tempting you to indignation, to demand appreciation for the kindness you’ve shown, picture the cross.

I am a Jesus Freak, and I don't care who knows it. I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, daughter, and friend. My blood family is only part of the larger family of Christ that I belong to. I love to write, especially about my dear Savior.


9 Responses

  1. Linda thank God that I didn’t listen to the little bird these last few days though it’s so tempting! So so so temppppppTING!

    But it is good when I chose to compose myself for God.

  2. Hi Linda,
    Such true words! I’ve sometimes wondered about David’s prayers for God to “smite” his enemies… and I have at times prayed these myself, not so much against individuals, but against powers and principalities seeking to destroy God’s people. Understanding that we wrestle not against flesh and blood is key in knowing how to pray. Discernment is wisdom to know the difference. Generally speaking, we pray as Jesus prayed for those who despitefully used him, but how do we reckon with those who are clearly being used by “the little bird” to kill, steal, and destroy?

    Thank you for this timely post, as I’ve recently found myself saying, “All we did for her and not even a ‘thank you’!” This just inspires me to keep on giving, regardless.

    ~ Love and blessings

    • Debra, Thanks for stopping by and commenting. So glad this post was timely for you. I love when God works like that. I’m never sure what to do about those who are willingly or unknowingly being used by “the little bird.” But I believe prayer for discernment and wisdom is key.

      I will have to check out your blog, too. Peace, Linda

  3. This post meant so much to me. That little bird has been fluttering about lately. And I’ve been extra tired, not tossing it out the window like I should. God bless you and thank you for being His voice to me today! p.s. If I let the little bird stay too long, it grows to the size of a vulture and gets much harder to resist and remove!

    • Deb, That is so true! The longer you let the little bird stay, the bigger and uglier he gets. Over and over scripture tells us to not let Satan have a foothold, for then he will try to hang on all the more. So glad this came at a much needed time for you. It didn’t exactly come out of thin air for me, as the little bird has been hanging around here, too. Peace, Linda

  4. Linda,
    Someone once told me that compassion is ‘undeserved love in action’. I thought of that when I read your post. Thanks for reminding us of this part of our Christian ‘duty’.

    “It didn’t matter if the people appreciated what He was doing for them, He did it anyway. He did it because He really loved them.”
    The cross is the perfect demonstration of how we ought to respond to those He sends our way – regardless of their response.

    May our responses always reflect the Christ in us.



    • Ann, I like that definition of compassion! It is so true. Thank you for the prayer that our responses may always reflect Christ. I need that prayer today and always. Peace, Linda

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