Giving Thanks

“It is better to give than to receive.” – Acts 20:35

How many of you really believe that? If you’ve ever given, served or put someone’s needs ahead of your own, I’m willing to bet you do. But, if we recognize that amazing feeling we have after giving, why don’t we give more often?

Do we need to be reminded of that feeling?

Do we need to be incentivized to be generous?

Do we need to be thanked?

Recently, my husband volunteered for a Go Day at our church. His team served at a local childcare facility that serves low-income children. He loved it. Loved the staff at the center, their mission, and serving there. He came back inspired to do more. (Dare I say his service was “contagious”?) We are always looking to inspire our children to serve when they recognize a need. (Warning: mom bragging begins now…) For example, when teaching our 4-year old that not everyone has as many toys as she does and that many children don’t even have the food they need, she simply said, “We should help them, Mom. We can.” From the mouths of babes. Of course it is that simple. So that’s what we did last Christmas by adopting a family. She participated in shopping and delivering items the family needed and a few they wanted as well.

Fast forward a few months after our Christmas family experience and church Go Day. We’re blessed with generous family members so we frequently do a purge of toys. Rather than drop the toys off in the Goodwill bin as usual, my husband has the idea to call the childcare center to see if they could benefit from them. They were excited about the idea to gift the kids with ‘new’ toys. Always looking for a teaching opportunity, he involved our 4-year old and together they selected toys to give to the children. They both went and delivered them and what a delight it was to hear how much they both enjoyed the experience.

Remember – it is better to give than to receive.

A few weeks later, the following thank you arrived in the mail.

They didn’t give to get thanked. But, doesn’t feel extra-special when you do receive a thoughtful thank you? What a nice way to remember those children and the smiles on their faces.

What motivates you to serve? Do you need to be thanked? When you have received a “thank you” what could you share as an example to inspire others to show gratefulness when they have been blessed?