Sports are a lot like life in general. When the team is winning, the coach is a genius; when they lose a few games, he suddenly becomes an idiot. Loyalty is a characteristic that has become a rarity. It is a "What have you done for me lately?" world in which we live. Our memory seems to fail us when it comes to being grateful, but it is sharp when it comes to remembering offenses and disappointments. The old saying, "how soon we forget" has a lot to do with living in "the now," and failing to look at life in its entirety.
Older children are especially vulnerable to becoming ungrateful. Parents may devote their entire lives to providing, protecting, guiding, and modeling Christ-like characteristics for their children, only to be labeled a lousy parent when they fail to grant permission to do something, or when they hold them accountable for their actions. It is as though one "no" is able to undo a thousand "yes's." I have to admit, I am as guilty as the rest, because my memory of the good things that occurred in my childhood has disappeared long ago, but I can still remember the very conversation that resulted in my dad forcing me to quit school and join the Navy fifty-two years ago.
A husband who does not "cooperate" when his wife wants something is a jerk, even though he may have worked two jobs to provide her with the many luxuries she already possesses. The same husband may forget the many times his wife did without, so that he could have a hobby. For those of you who do not know this, a game of golf costs about fifty dollars if you rent a cart. For some, fifty dollars is not all that much, but should the wife ask him for fifty dollars to buy a pair of shoes or a new dress, all of a sudden fifty dollars is way too much to spend "irresponsibly."
Christians are often guilty of being ungrateful toward God. I have heard people complain that God allowed a loved one to die, and yet, fail to thank Him for the many years they shared together. Some say, "Where was God when the holocaust happened?" Our answer should be, "He was weeping, just as He was when our sins caused His Son to die." Mourners don't want to hear such things; they want to be angry.
The Apostle Paul taught us how to live in good times and bad (Phil. 4:11; 1 Tim. 6:6-8). And the writer of Hebrews wrote, "Let your manner of life be without covetousness, and be content with such things as ye have..." (Heb. 13:5). A lack of contentment is nothing more than ingratitude.
Sports fans, children, spouses, and Christians need to look at the "big picture." Christians especially need to be grateful that God loves us and even knows the number of hairs on our heads (Jn. 3:16; Matt. 10:30). We either trust Him or we don't. The real question should be, "What have you done for Him lately?" May I suggest praise? After all, who is more deserving of gratitude than Almighty God?