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Give Thanks and Give

Well friends, the turkey has been served, you’ve had a slice of pumpkin pie (or two, or three), and Thanksgiving leftovers have been turned into a hundred different dishes by now.

I’d venture to guess many of you spent this past weekend putting up a Christmas tree, dressing up your yards with some twinkling lights, and getting your first taste of Christmas music.

The fall is basically one, big, seamless transition from one holiday to the next. We swap out Halloween decorations and carved pumpkins for Thanksgiving table settings, and then for a tree and some mistletoe.  Although our decorations change quickly in this season, I believe the attitude of our hearts should stay consistent.

Thankfulness and gratitude are the big buzz words around Thanksgiving. We are challenged by pastors, family, friends, and even sappy commercials to meditate on all the ways we’ve been blessed. We give thanks to God and to the people around us for the support they give us. As we enter the Christmas season, generosity becomes the issued challenge. We buy gifts for others, maybe invite people into our homes, or cook meals for someone who could use some help. But generosity is not just a gesture. And these two concepts are undoubtedly related.

Generosity is the outward expression of inward thankfulness.

When we think on God’s generosity to us in the gift of His Son, Jesus, thanksgiving should fill our hearts and overflow out of us in the form of generosity to others.  At Christmas, we remember the birth of Christ not just as an event but as a reflection on God’s goodness to us. As we thank Him for His generosity we are able to give generously to those around us. Without thankfulness in our hearts, our giving is just an empty gesture.

Although your Thanksgiving decorations have come down, keep that thanksgiving in your heart. Make it a habit to give thanks to God for what he has done for you. That will make your personal generosity more of a blessing to others and bring you more joy as you do it.

Merry Christmas!

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