Jun 242007

This article is shared by Marsha Jordan

Have you ever felt forgotten, neglected, unappreciated, or unloved? Haven’t we all?

Joseph, a prophet of God, was mistreated by his jealous brothers and just about everybody else he encountered. His brothers sold him as a slave and told their dad he’d been killed by a wild animal. With relatives like that, who needs enemies? But that was only the beginning of Joseph’s trials.

He worked as a slave for a powerful man whose conniving wife tried repeatedly to seduce him. Though he refused her advances, she didn’t give up. One day when she and Joseph were alone in the house, she pulled off his robe and he escaped in his underwear! The woman was so angry, she lied to her husband, saying Joseph had raped her. This, of course, did not go over well with Joseph’s master. He threw Joseph into prison with the ex-cupbearer of the king.

Thanks to Joseph’s efforts, the cupbearer was released. When the cupbearer returned to his job in the palace, instead of showing his gratitude to Joseph by putting in a good word for him with the King, the cupbearer totally forgot about his pal in prison. Joseph spent two more years locked up. I can only imagine what he was feeling and thinking about his former cell mate and disloyal friend. If you were in his shoes, (or should I say chains?) how would you feel? Would you think that perhaps doing good was a waste of time and maybe you should never help anyone ever again?

Have you ever done favors for ungrateful people? It hurts when kindness is not appreciated or even acknowledged. Jesus knew that pain too. While walking through a town one day, he came upon ten men suffering from Leprosy. These men were outcasts. Nobody wanted to come near them for fear of catching the horrible disease. Lepers had to leave their families to live in quarantined colonies. Once diagnosed with leprosy, they could never touch another human being or be touched by anyone. Can you imagine how lonely they must have felt? And when they accidentally came close to someone, they were required to yell out “unclean!” so the person could get away from them. Talk about feeling rejected and unloved!

But there was someone who did care about these men. Jesus had compassion and healed them. Predictably, when the men were healed, they immediately ran to see their friends and families. In their excitement, nine of the ten forgot to even say thank you to Jesus. Only one returned to show his gratitude for receiving his life back. If even Jesus was unappreciated for the good He did, we can’t expect to receive any better treatment. People are thoughtless sometimes. It’s easy to become angry and bitter when that happens, but neither Joseph the prophet nor Jesus the son of God reacted that way. They are examples for us to follow.

When we remember why we do good for others, it helps us forget about being forgotten. If we’re doing good simply for the sake of doing good, our satisfaction won’t depend upon the recipient’s response.We know that our acts of kindness are seen by God, so it doesn’t really matter if anyone here on earth acknowledges what we’ve done. Our reward comes from the one we are seeking to imitate. His opinion is the one that counts.

And speaking of being forgotten and unappreciated, consider how much God has done for us that we don’t remember to thank Him for!

Marsha Jordan

Marsha Jordan created The HUGS and HOPE Foundation for Critically Ill Children. Her humorous, inspirational book, ‘Hugs, Hope, and Peanut Butter’ is illustrated by sick kids; and profits from the book’ sale benefit children around the country. You may learn more about Jordan, her book, and the charity she founded by visiting her web site at www.hugsandhope.org/mj.htm
 Posted by at 8:45