Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thankfulness = Generosity

I love Thanksgiving. I'm never sure if that's true because I love food, or love being in a house full of people having a good time, or because I know I can officially start listening to Christmas music without embarrassment. I'm sure all of those things are true in varying degrees. Thanksgiving has always intrigued me because it's a whole, special holiday dedicated only to being thankful. It's a great idea and I know the historical story, pilgrims, native Americans, all of that, but how sad is it if we're truly, actually thankful only on the fourth Thursday of November every year?

I'm most struck as I think about the whole picture of what it looks like to follow Jesus. Jim talked specifically this week about being led by the Spirit of God and looking more like Christ as we live our lives with Him. In Colossians 2:6-7, Paul instructs believers in one of the first churches, ". . . just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing in thankfulness." Living life with Christ means a constant overflow of thankfulness. When I'm blown away with thankfulness and gratitude, I'm humbled by how blessed I've been through no worthiness of my own. When I live in that humble place of gratitude, I'm freed up and filled with the desire to give generously. I don't know what you find in your life, but I am most generous when I am most thankful.

I bet you can't think of a single person who constantly feels cheated and shortchanged, that you would consider to be a generous person. Yet "overflowing in thankfulness" most often leads to overflowing in generosity. I would love to be that person, even in months other than November. You?

Happy Thanksgiving . . . and let the Christmas music rock!

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