The “Thanks” from the “Giving”

Posted on November 26, 2009. Filed under: Faith, Family, Grace, Heaven, Sacrifice, Salvation | Tags: , , , , , , |

I get all charged up this time of year, you know, for the “Holidays” as we call them in our culture.  You have Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, all within about 5 weeks of each other, all occasions when family and friends gather together to celebrate their beliefs and traditions.  As I pondered about Thanksgiving this week, I began to think about what the holiday symbolizes and how people choose to commemorate it.  Most of us take this time each year to give thanks for our family, friends, and what we have been blessed with, or possibly working in a shelter or food kitchen, wanting to share their time with those who are less fortunate.  And of course, many would say that Thanksgiving can’t go on without enjoying the football games.

As I thought about it, I began to ease into wonderment concerning why we spend so much of our time during this holiday giving thanks.  Naturally, I believe we should be grateful for all that we have been given, but maybe there is another perspective that we can view this holiday from.  Possibly, some of our thoughts about this entire holiday tradition should not be about ourselves and how grateful we are, but increasingly ab0ut living our lives so that others will exercise a bestowing of thanks for what they have received from us and the way we share and sacrifice for one another not just on a holiday, but every day.

Maybe we can make this holiday not just a once a year celebration for what we are grateful for, but rather a time when we participate in recognizing how we need to be engaged in serving one another each day and all year long.  In a society that shows itself to care mostly about personal gratification and the fulfillment of our own wants and desires, I believe that we should assemble to share in each others lives in a way that we become more involved giving to others before we visualize and take a grasp of our own considerations.

As we view history, do we look up to our heroes for greatness in what they have done for themselves, or for how the distinction of their heroism merits applause due to it’s effect on someone other than themselves or society as a whole?  I am guessing if I took a poll, the populous would convey they admire their heroes for what they have done for others, for society, or for the sacrifice they may have made to be recognized as a hero, not by what they have achieved for themselves.  As a culture, we need to change our outlook on life, we should not be continuously burdened with our own wants, desires, and needs, instead seeking to be a hero for those around us by giving and sacrificing of our own time, treasure, and talents.  If we do more of this in our everyday lives, 365 days a year, then maybe, just maybe, we will find people expressing “Thanks” from the “Giving”.

Those on the receiving end of the adjustment in lifestyle from self to one that presents an outward expression of caring will in turn render thanks from our giving. When we sacrifice and give of ourselves, this gives us an opportunity to be grateful and thankful, because we will have a greater sense of accomplishment and distinct appreciativeness from our giving.  Our thankfulness will come from giving not receiving.  Think about how a reciprocal action like this could benefit everyone and how we could have a greater cooperation among people.  I realize I am being idealistic, but I truly feel compassion for others and desire to see change in our society; a change that promotes community not individualism.

If we were to participate in a quest to give of ourselves, our time, our treasure and our talents in our daily walk on this marvelous God created earth that we live on, putting the needs of the many before our own, then quite possibly we may begin to see a change worldwide for the good of all.  But wait, we have already experienced this in action; this type of life was lived out in the person of Jesus Christ.  Yes, Jesus was the ideal example of living a life that emulates perfection and how we should love and care for others, unconditionally and sacrificially.

In Mark 12:28 (ESV), the Bible says, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus then answered in Mark 12:30-31, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”  Loving your neighbor as yourself, well that does not always come easy, but we need to recognize that if the God of the universe establishes the criteria for us to live by, then we should follow His instructions.  It sounds easy, but takes work and a sincere appetite of caring and a passion for people.  This has to come from the heart, from our inner being, since fulfilling this commandment takes us away from our own fleshly requirements and urgencies.  But, if we seek a personal interest in the well being of others, giving of ourselves first, then we will become the recipients of the thanks from the giving!

Jesus took on the most significant sacrifice for others, He came to earth as a man, suffered and died while being nailed to a cross, absorbing the responsibility for all the sins of those who ask and receive His path of forgiveness.  Through His unconditional sacrifice for all of us, He showed how we should live our lives, caring and loving one another, as He commanded us in John 15:12.  Then verse 13 further explains to what level we should care for others when He states, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”  There is not greater reward we can receive then the gratitude from someone we have benefitted through our generosity.  If God can come to this world, suffer as He did, in order that you and I can live eternally in heaven with that same creator, then we certainly can pay it forward to those in whom we come in contact with.  We can seek others needs before our own, as Jesus did for us.

Many people around the world give thanks to Jesus for giving of Himself for their sins and are grateful for the eternal opportunity they now have to be with the creator, in turn rendering thanks from His giving. I must believe that the joy Jesus receives each and every time someone knocks on His door, whereby receiving eternal salvation from His grace, certainly outweighs the sacrifice He made for our atonement.  He has joy in His sacrifice for us!  We all can receive similar joy from our sacrifices for those in our lives that we can love as ourselves.  I say take the plunge, put others before yourself, giving and sacrificing for those around you, then be prepared to receive the bounty of blessing you will receive from those same people when you are granted the “Thanks” for the “Giving”!

This is my Happy Thanksgiving proclamation to you all.  So, go out, spread your caring, concern and love to others in the world and receive the “Thanks for the “Giving”. Amen

May you all be eternally blessed,

Daryl Dho

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Good Job. This blog was just what I needed


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