Be A “Thank-Giver” At Thanksgiving
It is that time of the year when we take time to give thanks to God for blessings in our lives. We reflect upon the blessing of family, friends, work, health, food, clothing and any other ways in which we find blessing. It is always good and healthy to step back and realize just how truly blessed we are!
At the same time, there are many in this country who have little to be truly thankful for. My worst day is likely better than a lot of peoples’ best days. For me, it is not enough just to give thanks to God for blessings received, giving thanks also has to be an action of showing thanks by reaching out to others in love, especially those less fortunate than myself. It can be a source of unhealthy pride to bask in the many blessings in my life with no real thought or inspiration to also be a blessing to others. I am not blessed only for my sake but also for the world!
Therefore, our challenge as a people of God blessed in many ways is to also be a “Thank-giver” – in other words, a source for someone else to give thanks to God for being a blessing to someone in need. Maybe it is visiting someone in a care facility, or sharing a meal at a homeless shelter, or reaching out to a friend and reconciling a difference, or taking time for your kids in the midst of your busy life. Thanksgiving is not just a thought or prayer we share with God and others, it is an action showing God’s great love for all of God’s people.
This is what Jesus had in mind when he encountered the rich man that asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life:
As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 19You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother.'” 20He said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.” 21Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” 22When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions. (Mark 10:17-22)
This man was a good person by all accounts – he kept the commandments, likely went to worship, was a good citizen. But he lacked one thing – the ability to give of himself for others. He knew he was blessed, he just did not realize that true blessing comes when we also are a blessing for others.
How might you be a “Thank-giver”? How might you be a blessing to others this holiday season and beyond? As you give thanks this holiday season, let your blessings not only make you realize how much God may be doing in your life, but how God may be calling you to be a blessing to others. Who knows, you may just become the source of thanksgiving for someone else!
Pastor Scott Sessler
September 12, 2018
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April 13, 2018