November 23, 2021
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! I like watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, eating the delicious food, and I especially enjoy spending time with my family. I’m so thankful for them. Thanksgiving’s also when I make an extra effort to reflect on God’s goodness. I thank Him for my blessings and the gifts He’s given me to share with others.
When I think about someone who uses her gifts well, the first person that comes to mind is my Aunt Lynda. She is the epitome of “a cheerful giver.” She’s always been hospitable, and no one ever went hungry or thirsty at her house. For as long as I’ve known her, she has put the needs of others before her own. She’s truly the most selfless and giving person I know.
She’s in her eighties now and moved into a nursing home not long ago. I recently spoke with her on the phone, and she apologized because she can’t make her famous red velvet cake for our family’s Christmas gathering this year. She sweetly explained that she no longer has access to a kitchen. While her red velvet cake is the best I’ve ever tasted and will certainly be missed, I reassured Aunt Lynda that what’s most important is we get to visit her! Even though that precious lady’s circumstances have changed, she still has that same kind and generous heart.
I don’t think my aunt has ever felt obligated to give. It’s simply her gift. God created us to be generous with our gifts. Romans 12:6-8 says, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”
It’s written in Proverbs 11:25, “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” The previous verse informs us that when you give freely, you get more in return and warns that if you withhold excessively, you will come to poverty. Does this mean we should give just to receive? I don’t think so, and scripture tells us to decide in our hearts what to give.
In 2 Corinthians 9:7, the apostle Paul said, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” Paul was encouraging the believers in Corinth to give generously. He wanted them to rely on their own inner convictions though and didn’t want them to give beyond their means or give if they felt coerced. He simply wanted them to give cheerfully, like my sweet aunt.
As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, let’s take time to focus and thank God for our blessings and the unique gifts He’s given us. Let’s be cheerful givers and generously share our gifts with others!
I wish you all a very happy holiday. If you don’t have access to a Thanksgiving meal this year and you are local to middle Tennessee, Grecian Family Restaurant and Bakery generously gives meals to the community. They are excited to give away 1,200 FREE Thanksgiving meals this year, no questions asked. Dine-in and carryout options are available this Thursday from noon until 3.
By Kristy Ensor
2003 Wall Street
Spring Hill, TN 37174
(*If you would like to volunteer for this event, please call the number above for additional information.)
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