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Black Church News in Virginia

Marriner’s Moment: Emerge Into Giving Thanks – Part 3

As we approach Thanksgiving, we should make a conscious effort to reflect upon and express our gratitude—to God and others—for our many blessings. God desires for us to be givers—and not just givers of money! Giving should be looked upon as an investment into our divine future. Moreover, we should have a certain attitude toward and through the giving experience. In 2 Corinthians 9:7, we read, “You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” When we emerge into giving thanks, we should not do so out of ritual, obligation, or with the expectation that we will receive a blessing for doing so. And, while certainly there is the law of reciprocity (there will be a time of harvest and a time to reap), we must remember that we are blessed to be a blessing—not to expect one.

Sometimes giving thanks requires us to be vulnerable or inconvenienced. We should not go to God giving thanks with our masks on. He already knows our heart, so giving thanks may require us to be vulnerable. We may need to confess our lack of faith or selfishness, our inability to wholeheartedly place our faith and trust in God, or our reluctance to give up control. In these instances, it may be appropriate to thank God for not giving up on us, the way we sometimes give up on Him, and for loving us in spite of ourselves.

Most of us don’t have to dig deep to find reasons to give thanks. We realize that the very breath that we breathe is a gift from God. We have our health, our families, roofs over our heads and food on our tables. For most of us, that’s enough to give God thanks!

Peace and power.

© Dr. Melvin O. Marriner,
Grove Church
November 2017

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