The Joy of a Thanks-Giver

The Joy of a Thanks-Giver

By Bruce Schlenke

When I was a boy, I was a grudge-giver. My mom and dad would make me give a nickel of my meager allowance each week to the Sunday school offering. I gave because I had to. I really wasn’t very happy about it, but I guess it did instill a good habit in me.

Yes, Mom and Dad’s coercion served me and Christ’s church pretty well. For, after I committed my life to Jesus Christ in my teens and had more control over my resources, I became a duty-giver. I learned that giving back to God a portion of my income was a definite part of being a Christian believer, an important indicator of my faith in God. So, I did it - willingly, not grudgingly. I gave because I ought to. My tithe (a tenth of my material gain) was the biblical standard, and I was blessed as I fulfilled the command.

But over these last many years, I have become a thanks-giver. With marriage and children, and now grandchildren, my ever-increasing awareness of God’s tremendous blessing in my life has made me so totally grateful. I cannot not give to the Lord’s work. It’s ironic and amazing. I want to give! God has been so good to me, so active in my life and the lives of our whole family. What a joy there is in being a thanks-giver! This is especially true for me as I see the transforming power of ministries that carry my gifts to places and people in need of love, care and Jesus.

Sometimes I get grabby and slip back into grudge-giving. Not good. However, I never dismiss the benefit to me and to God’s Kingdom of duty-giving, for it is what I am called to do as a Christian believer. That’s good. But even more, I grow in my gratitude to God and overflow with joy of living for Jesus’ purposes when I thanks-give. And that’s really good!

2 Corinthians 9:7:  Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

1 comment (Add your own)

1 Ken Schoeneweis - Wed, November 22, 2017 @ 10:09 PM

Hi Bruce: Thank you for taking the time to compose and submit this blog entry. I enjoyed reading it while waiting for the family to arrive on this Thanksgiving eve. Your thoughts are really good and appropriate. My heart was encouraged. Happy Thanks-giving! - Ken

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