Does Gratitude lead to Thankful Giving?

Are you truly grateful?  Does a grateful person become a thankful giver?  Is it truly better to give than receive?  Do you give just to receive, or give freely without any benefit to you?

philippine disaster 2013

“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” – John Bunyan

The images of the destruction when Super Typhoon Haiyan made landfall on November 8 2013, wiping out just about everything in its path, heart wrenching, more than 5,200 people dead and 23,000 injured.  It’s hard to imagine such an overwhelming event and then struggling to survive.   Government official’s have estimated the reconstruction bill would reach $5.8 billion, but what about NOW?  People are desperate for the necessities to survive, just to live one more day.

The 2012 film “The Impossible” gave me a first hand glimpse of how vulnerable we all are to the wrath of mother nature.  The actors gave a brilliant performance giving me a feeling that struck me to the depths of my soul.  I couldn’t believe how realistic it was and how I was drawn to want to help, if I only could reach onto the screen and do something, anything to rescue and save people.  Even with the many struggles in my own life, I found myself Grateful and Thankful with a desire to Give without receiving a thing in return.  I don’t see myself as a hero, but seeing the young children, women, elderly and even men, convicted me of the need to do something.  Am I alone?  Do you get impacted in the same manner?  Is it just when we see something this severe that we respond with reckless abandon, even to the point of sacrificing our own lives?

What about the Mundane?  What about your day to day life?  The story above is to the extreme, but the real question is, do you see the people who are around you and are you aware of the Devastation in their lives, or do you just look past them?

When you buy your fast food, get your car washed, etc….do you look at the person and secretly say to yourself, “I’m glad that’s not me” or “Not even consider them as a person, but your servant”?  Or do you look them in the eye, share a warm smile, speak kindly with true concern and thank them for serving you?

Something to Consider:  How can you even be in the position to see the state of where another person is without being truly grateful and content so that you can be in a position to be a Thankful Giver?

I don’t have any simple anecdotes to offer that will make you Grateful and help you to become a Thankful Giver, however I believe the process starts with you, and how you see yourself.  What do you see when you look in the mirror?  I am not sharing this to invoke guilt, and if you are feeling guilty, then you are probably missing the whole point of Gratitude leading to Thankful Giving.

Here are some of my favorite quotes regarding Gratitude and Giving and I hope they help you are blessed by them.

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” – Charles Dickens

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:21

“You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.” – Amy Carmichael

“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” – 1 John 3:17-18

“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ – Matthew 25:35-40

Remember:  “The grateful heart’s overflowing abundance expresses itself with limitless giving.”Lance Easley

Thank you for spending the time to read this post.  I hope and pray that you have a blessed Holiday season with your family, friends, coworkers and loved ones.  If you are persuaded to give support for those in need in the Philippines, please go to: https://secure.commonground.convio.com/allhands/philippines/project.html?personalFundraisingProjectId=a0kG0000003OAUWIA4

Your friend – Lance