If you haven’t heard yet, Generosity Month is in full swing here at Tithely. We believe that generosity is a guiding principle in the Christian life. For that reason, we are focusing this entire month’s series on what generosity looks like in the 21st century, and how to creatively and meaningfully cultivate a life of generosity.
Generosity flows from a spirit of thankfulness. When we feel gratitude, we want to show it and share it. The Thanksgiving season is here and with the stuffing, yams, and turkey comes the opportunity to be thankful to God for everyone and everything he has blessed us with.
What happens though when our feelings or circumstances don’t match the festive season? It’s hard to feel spurred on toward generosity when you can’t think of anything to be thankful for. Thankfully...the Bible is our guidepost and shows us ways to pull ourselves out of those emotions or troubles when they don’t match the season.
In this post, we will look at the top three hurdles to thankfulness, and how to overcome them and make the most of the Thanksgiving season.
Here are over 100 Thanksgiving Bible verses to help you be more thankful this season.
Whether it’s personal or church finances, facing hardship with money is difficult this time of year. It seems there is no end to expenses from November to New Years, and while you want to enjoy the Holiday Season you also can’t forget the realities of your bank account.
If your personal finances are strapped this year, here are a few ways to still practice generosity and thankfulness even when you have nothing to spare.
- Make a list of everyone and everything you are thankful for. Invite your family or friends to join you. Put the list somewhere visible and anytime you feel stress or anxiety over your finances, begin to pray and thank God for each item on that list.
- Write out thank you notes to friends and family. You can go one step further and write a letter to a family member or friend you haven’t spoken to in years.
- Extend an olive branch to someone you had a falling away with. This is one of the most important ways we can be generous. Offering forgiveness to someone is the perfect way to celebrate this season.
If you’re a church leader or pastor and your church isn’t in a great place financially, here are a few tips for you to navigate your church through the Thanksgiving season.
- First, let’s address the practical. If you don’t offer digital giving, or need to optimize how you accept payments, we’ve got you covered. Tithely Giving is the best place to start or troubleshoot your digital donations.
- As a church leader, you may need to encourage your community toward thankfulness and generosity in your sermons. This isn’t meant to pressure or coerce, but to start a journey together toward a thankful spirit. This blog has ideas on how to deliver a meaningful Thanksgiving message.
- Gather your church community together and team up on a local project. Maybe you can host a clean-up day at a community park or offer help at a local shelter. There are so many ways to volunteer and give back that don’t have a price tag attached.
Most people and churches go through times of financial hardship. What’s most important is to remember that God is as good in the feast as he is in the famine. We can offer him thanksgiving and show generosity in all circumstances.
“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18.
Sadness or Grief
Whatever storms you weathered throughout the year, Thanksgiving might be a time when those feelings resurface. As we mentioned earlier though, the Bible is full of scriptures that can set perspective and offer eternal hope. Paul gives encouragement and instruction to “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, ‘Rejoice!'” (Philippians 4:4). Regardless of circumstances or feelings, we can keep a thankful spirit toward God even if we have a hard time extending it to anyone/anything else.
How do we do that? By reading and reflecting on the scriptures that tell us why our hope is secured. In Jesus we find all the hope, comfort, and belonging that we don’t always find in this world. It doesn’t mean we won’t ever feel sad, but as Paul says in 1 Thessalonians, “you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.” He doesn’t say we don’t grieve, but that we do not grieve like those without hope.
If you’re reading this and thinking, “I feel pretty good actually,” that’s great! Chances are someone around you isn’t feeling the same. Reach out to the people around you who experienced a loss in the past few years or who are dealing with tough circumstances. Inviting them to Thanksgiving or just out for coffee could make a big difference in a tricky season.
As church leaders or pastors, staying connected to your church members is always important. Around the holidays, it’s imperative. Make it easier and increase the reach of your church by utilizing Tithely Church Management.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Skepticism and Disillusionment
Countries all over the world have their own version of a Thanksgiving holiday. They might call it something else, but at some point during the year they gather together with those they love to share a meal and celebrate all the goodness in their lives. Thanksgiving is a national holiday, but what do you do when you feel skeptical or disillusioned about the holiday or your country?
Just like with grief, God transcends our emotions by offering the eternal hope of Jesus. You don’t have to sit down to a big ol’ turkey and love everything about your country. You would be hard pressed to find someone who loved every single thing about their country. We would all probably change something. It comes back to thankfulness though. You can still be thankful for your family, your friends, your church, your health, and so many things. If you look for reasons to be thankful, you’ll find them.
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:15-17
Thankfulness & Generosity
We hope you feel encouraged and equipped to make this the best Thanksgiving season ever. Whatever hurdles you are facing this holiday season, Jesus offers the ultimate hope and reason to be thankful. Generosity paves the way for thankfulness even in the hardest of circumstances. We hope you not only feel gratitude this season, but choose to show it through generosity that changes lives.
Here at Tithely we know what the power of generosity can do. We have the privilege of seeing first-hand what happens when churches are empowered to lead with generosity. If you want to find out what that would look like for your church, try out Tithely All Access for less than the cost of a Thanksgiving meal.