Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Tim. 6:17-18)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Is Not Just A Warm, Fuzzy Feeling

Photo by Matt Knoth
Nothing More Than Feelings

The word "thanksgiving." What do you think of when you hear that word? Do you think of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and all the trimmings? Do you think of holiday trips to see family and friends? Do you think of professional football on national TV? Both of my brothers love to watch the Detroit Lions play every Turkey Day. It's a tradition.

I bet all of us have warm, fuzzy feelings about thanksgiving. I have always typically traveled to see my family around this particular holiday. Whenever I hear the word "thanksgiving," I think of cold weather, overcast skies, rain/snow mixes, long car rides, seeing most of my extended family, and an awesome meal that bloats my belly!

A Compound Word That Implies Action

If you just stop and think about the word "thanksgiving" though, it is a word made up of two words. It's a compound word made up of the words "thanks" and "giving."

The word "thanks" used as a verb means: to express gratitude, appreciation, or acknowledgment to: She thanked them for their hospitality.

The word "giving" used as a verb means: to present voluntarily and without expecting compensation; bestow: to give a birthday present to someone.

Put these two simple words together and you get a powerful compound word that implies some type of action. The definition according to the act of giving thanks; grateful acknowledgment of benefits or favors, especially to God.

If we're truly thankful, we can't help but act through giving.

Give Thanks Today And Every Day

Hey, warm, fuzzy feelings are great to have on this day of Thanksgiving. Don't get me wrong. I enjoy the warm fuzzies like anyone else does. But, this day and every day allow your thanksgiving to become an action. Give of yourself in time, attention, and maybe even material gifts to your spouse, children, and other family members. Give a special thanksgiving offering to God through your local church. Help a stranger in need this holiday season. Figure out a way to give of yourself in some unique, tangible way in order to demonstrate a thankful heart.

2 Corintians 9:11 states, You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

Through the simple act of generous giving, thanksgiving to God becomes the result. A spirit of thanks and generosity are intertwined. There's no escaping this fact.

And, this active thanks shouldn't be a one day out of the year kind of deal, either. In 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 we read: pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

In every situation, on every day, we should give thanks to the Lord. This is His will for our lives.

May God bless you and your family on this Thanksgiving Day Holiday.

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