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November 20, 2009


Giving Thanks

by Rev. A. J. Iovine

Last night during our church’s Elders’ Meeting, I made an admission — I am not very good at receiving thanks for anything. I just believe that if I do something I am supposed to do, completing the task deserves no recognition. When people thank me for something, I always get a little clammy. Inside, I say to myself that thanking me is not needed. My unease is, at times, very pointed. I make a face … I interrupt the person or the people I am speaking with who are complimenting me … My shyness begins to come out. I know this sounds overwhelmingly funny, but this is my reality.

This morning, while on the telephone speaking with a friend, I mentioned my little “unease” with being thanked, and as I spoke about my restlessness with receiving the two words “thank” and “you,” she began to laugh. “Normal people don’t have a problem with being thanked, Anthony. In fact, they actually like it.” After she finished, I tried to explain myself – if I do something that I am supposed to do, I don’t believe I need to be thanked. She immediately fired back, “When you help someone, they say thank you.”

When I was younger, I was exceedingly shy. I think my inability to accept thanks stems directly from my shyness, something I thought I had conquered years ago. On the flip side, I’ve always found thanking people so much easier. I know, I don’t thank people enough, but it is more apparent that my heart gives thanks much easier than receiving it.

As Christians, it is central to our core to give thanks not only to those around us who help us, but more importantly, to God for all that He’s blessed us with — with the most important thanks being given to Him for the salvation he graciously grants us through our Lord Jesus Christ. Our hearts are always filled with thanks when we ponder the goodness our Lord showers us with each day.

The primary reason we give thanks is that we’ve been blessed by God even though we don’t deserve it. We continuously fail Him, yet out of His love for us, He still provides for all our needs of body and life. In lives filled with humbleness, knowing we deserve nothing yet we receive everything, we thank our Triune God for everything.

That is our goal every time we come to church — to thank Him for all that He has given us. This is our goal each day when we awake, when we prepare ourselves for sleep, before we eat, after we eat, before we head out to work or school or play, etc. Our hearts are geared to thank Him for all that He gives us each day.

This Wednesday evening at 7, please join us as we take special time out of our national Thanksgiving celebrations to give thanks to God our Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

Read more from Iovine
1 Comment Post a comment
  1. Nov 26 2009

    Thanks for this…I’m googling thanksgiving. I like what you say here.


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