Ever Feel Taken For Granted?

Thank_you_1 Silly question.  Like so many of us, I suspect you do.  Being taken for granted is the sense that you are really not appreciated or valued.

Maybe you’ve felt taken for granted by:

  • Your spouse.  Perhaps the "thank you’s" are rare, while the complaints are being expressed far too often.
  • Your children.  A child shows little appreciation for what you’ve done for him but complains strongly when you have not done exactly what he wants.
  • Your parents.  Maybe they show little interest in who you are as a person. 
  • Your friend.  You are the one who usually initiates anything that you do together. 
  • Your company.  You have high standards for your work but do not feel appreciated by those for whom you work.
  • Your church.  You have served in a variety of roles with little thanks. 

What would God’s list look like?  This morning, I think about how often he is taken for granted.  I think about how often I take him for granted.  At this moment, I would like to step in and declare that I am a very grateful person.  Grateful to God for every breath he has given me.  But–that wouldn’t be true.  Far too often I have taken God for granted.

Not good.   

After all, I certainly don’t like being taken for granted.  Yet, this happens to most of us and maybe quite often.  I can brood about this or just accept that even God experiences this.

Maybe by the grace of God, I can do what God does.  After all, he does not take his creation for granted but continues to love and sustain us each day.  I don’t want to take people for granted either.

  • I don’t want to take the woman at the cleaners for granted.
  • I don’t want to take the clerk at Target for granted.
  • I don’t want to take my wife or children for granted.
  • I don’t want to take the Crestview church for granted.
  • I don’t want to take God’s gifts for granted.
  • I don’t want to take God himself for granted.

I don’t want to take my life or the people in my life for granted because that is so unlike God.

Tomorrow, our daughter Christine will have been married one year.  She married a wonderful young man, Phillip.   They  are both committed Christ-followers.  I take none of that for granted.  And—I don’t want to ever take them for granted.  I want to appreciate Christine and Phillip and be thankful for who they are.  It is important that they hear that I appreciate them.  It is not enough to just think about it.

People are not mind readers.  If I appreciate someone, I really need to tell them.  Far too many people rarely hear a word of appreciation from their parents, their children, their church, etc.  How does that change?  It begins in my little corner of the world.

Today, I want to be grateful to God for who he is and for the many good moments I will experience today. 

Today, I want several people in my world to hear the words, "Thank you."

(I am also wondering, why do churches often seem to take people for granted?  Why is it that in some churches people rarely hear a "thank you"?  Maybe I’m off here, but I sense there are many in churches who really don’t feel appreciated.)


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17 thoughts on “Ever Feel Taken For Granted?

  1. A good example of this is that our employees fill out an employee satisfaction survey every year. The nurses who work for me put at the top of their wish list that they would like more appreciation comments from me ahead of pay raises and I was blown away. I didn’t realize I was lacking here but now I know how much a pat on the back means. One more example is my grand daughters’ 12 year old friend who “feels invisible”. Unappreciated. It hurts to hear that. Thanks for the nudge.

  2. Thank you for the reminder today. I know I take my family for granted. And you also make a great point about taking members of the body for granted. Just being a part of the body of Chirst is such a priviledge, and I think we take that for granted too.

  3. Penetrating thoughts, Jim! I’m trying to become more aware of the ways people bless my life so that I can more effectively express my gratitude.

    Also, in my estimation, you are right on target with your last observation. I think there are many who feel unappreciated in most churches. Expressing appreciation is a bit tricky, though. I once started an effort to thank people publicly and privately for big and small things they were doing. Many (probably more than half) of the people asked me not to single them out. They felt better about their service when the spotlight was not shining on them. (I actually called the campaign: In the Spotlight) Now, I try to make me commendations more generic, recognizing the good that has been done, rather than the people who are doing the work.

    BTW, I know you are NOT seeking our thanks, but… THANK YOU for blessing our lives with this fabulous blog. Although I don’t comment every day, I am blessed daily by your thoughts!


  4. Jim, So true. I think one key is do it when it is on your heart to do so. Not later. I don’t want people to think I’m flattering them. But I do believe in trying to encourage others in what they’re doing, and thank them for their work, especially one’s work in the Lord. Heaven knows there is more than enough discouragement out there to go around for everyone several times over!

  5. Jim:

    Great post. I think it can be particularly difficult for pastors. We are always looking for volunteers that we can take for granted those who are already doing so much.

    Pastors need to send out thank you notes weekly to people in the congregation who give of their time, resources, and talents.

    It is a small thing to do considering what volunteers continue to do to further the mission of the church in the world.

  6. Isn’t it amazing how hard it is to say such an easy phrase, “thank you”. It seems like we don’t realize how much we appreciate someone or something till it is gone.
    Thank you Jim for your post. It is a great wake up for a lot of us.

  7. Isn’t it amazing how hard it is to say such an easy phrase, “thank you”. It seems like we don’t realize how much we appreciate someone or something till it is gone.

    Thank you Jim for your post. It is a great wake up for a lot of us.

  8. Bill,
    Thanks for your kind words re the blog. I have appreciated your comments.

    You make a good point. Expressing appreciation can be a bit tricky and needs some wisdom. I try to ask, “What seems to be most appropriate for this particular person?”

  9. Ted,
    Good comment–what you said is very good. It is important to say something when this is on your heart. So often, I have thought about someone who I should thank in the next conversation but never followed up.

  10. I searched for this blog because I felt like i was being taken for granted, when I myslef did the same thing to others. I believe if I start, others will fallow. So, first, Im thanking God for YOU and your blog. It means a lot to and I appreciate it.

  11. Wow thank you; this is so true! Here I am searching for what to do when I don’t feel appreciated, and then I come across your words on how God experiences this so often from me! Thanks for the reminder