THANKFUL PEOPLE DON'T...I’ve been away for a couple of weeks, but wanted to finish out the thought that I started over Thanksgiving about being a thankful person.
So far I’ve offered two observations about thanful people:
1) Thankful people don’t forget
2) Thankful people don’t complain
I want to add a third to the list...
Really this boils down to a heart attitude that God wants us to develop... GENEROSITY! Hoarding is the art of collecting without any interest in sharing. Pride kills thanksgiving, but the humble mind is the soil in which thanksgiving naturally grows. A proud person is seldom a grateful person, for they never think they get as much as they deserve-they often hoard up for themselves! Show me a generous person and I will show you a grateful person. Have you ever met a thankful person, who was not generous?
Living with open hands. If your hands are tightly clasped around what you have, then they cannot receive any more... If you live with open hands and freely give, then God can continue to fill those hands again!
Again it is odd, but the more we hold onto things the less thanksgiving we have. The more we give away the more reason we have to give thanks.
One pastor expressed it this way, “With apologies to St. James I offer this rendition of verse 18 in his second chapter, “But some will say, “You have generosity but I have thankfulness. Show me any generosity without being thankful? But I will show you my thankfulness by my generosity.”
In John 4, Jesus meets a woman by a well. A story we are familiar with. After her encounter with Christ, notice what she does she goes and tells others about the good work of God. She goes and gathers a crowd. She does not hoard this good news, she shares it. Her heart is so thankful she can’t contain herself.
Can we say with our mouths we are thankful and not be generous? Can we say a thanksgiving prayer and celebrate God’s bounty in our home when we have not opened our hand to help another? Can we fill our bellies and not give so that others’ bellies can also be full? Can selfish, hoarding people truly be called thankful people? I think not.
Like the woman at the well we show our thanksgiving with our generosity not with our mouths. When we tell others about the joy of Jesus, when we share God’s riches with others, when we are generous with our time, talents, and money then we can be called a thankful people.
"So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Corinthians 9:7). The Revised Standard Version has "not reluctantly or under compulsion."