Tag Archives: Gratitude

Grateful Today

By Marlow Gingerich

In checkout lines I am almost certainly asked the perfunctory “How are you today?” Most customers will respond with the innocuous “Fine” or “Okay,” and some will be too preoccupied to respond at all. However, I was recently challenged, during a sermon by my local pastor, to reframe these interactions with a novel response: “I’m grateful.”

His sermon focused on Luke 17: 11-19. In this passage Jesus encounters ten lepers on the road to Jerusalem. They plead for his mercy, and he miraculously heals them, instructing them to go show themselves to the priests. Only one of the lepers turns back to give thanks for his healing. Jesus tells him “Your faith has made you well.” It is a faith rooted in a heart of gratitude to a God of abundance. Is ours?

We don’t know for certain why the other nine men kept walking. Perhaps they felt entitled to healing after such suffering, or perhaps they were afraid that their healing wasn’t real or wouldn’t last. When we survey our circumstances, do we see the provision of God in our world? Or do we have a sense of entitlement? Are we letting fear stop us from practicing gratitude?

Certainly, there are times I have been afraid to be grateful, worried that I might somehow jinx myself or shouldn’t celebrate for fear my good fortune might not last. But that is not what God wants of us nor for us. He wants us to be like the one who turned back and worshipped with a grateful heart.

In my role at Abundance Canada, I am grateful to work with so many people who are like “the one.” They understand that all they have is from God, are truly grateful for it, and want to turn back and say thanks through generous giving. Recently, I was inspired by working with Susan (not her real name), a woman putting her gratitude into action. With real estate prices in her area soaring, Susan’s property sale left her with more cashflow than she’d ever had before. She was grateful for this financial blessing and wanted to do something meaningful with the proceeds.

After hearing about Abundance Canada’s Flexible Gifting Accounts, she made an appointment with our office. Susan and I worked together, planning and organizing her way of giving back. Of course, she had to balance the tension between giving freely and determining how much to keep for her own needs, but gratitude empowered her to overcome the fear of not having enough. Funds were transferred to Abundance Canada, timed so that the resulting charitable donation receipt was most relevant to Susan’s income tax situation. She blessed more than a dozen charities with generous donations. As she gave in this way, Susan’s trust in God increased, and her gratitude with it. She went on to replicate those initial donations two more times. She says it is very fulfilling.

We aren’t all in the financial position Susan is, but gratitude is not a trait that some have and others don’t. Gratitude is a choice, one that becomes easier the more we practice it. We all have so much to be grateful for each day, it should be our greatest joy to give our thanks to God. But we must start by intentionally cultivating a heart of gratitude. I challenge you to begin by simply answering many “How are you?” questions with a quick reflection on your blessings and a heartfelt “I’m grateful.” Imagine the conversation you’ll start! It might be one you’ll both be grateful you had.

Marlow_Gingerich
Marlow Gingerich

Marlow Gingerich is a Gift Planning Consultant at Abundance Canada. For more than 40 years, Abundance Canada has effectively helped Canadians with their charitable giving in their lifetime and through their estate. To learn more, visit abundance.ca or call 1.800.772.3257 to arrange a no obligation free consultation.

 

Gratitude at Christmas

by L. Marie Enns, La Crete, Alta.

We praise You, Heavenly Father,
As Christmas comes again
For Your great love and mercy
For this world of sinful men,
That You gave Your only begotten Son
To pay for all our sin
So we could have eternal life
If we put our faith in Him.
What agony You must have felt
As He suffered, bled and died!
But what joy when He arose to life
And was seated at Your side.

We thank You, Jesus, Saviour,
For Your unfailing love
That brought You to our sinful world
From Your splendid home above
To die in disgrace in all sinners’ place
To reconcile us to God,
Secure our forgiveness and saving grace
With the shedding of Your blood.
What anguish and pain You suffered that day
All because You loved us so!
But with joy You arose, conquered Your foes
That salvation we can know.

This Christmas, Lord, may many souls
Repent and believe in You,
And Your gracious gift of eternal life
Receive with gratitude.