Just to Say Thanks

We're happy to share this post from Rev. Kent Millard, former senior pastor of St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Indianapolis. Rev. Millard currently serves as a gratitude coach for congregations in the Midwest and was a part of the Lake Institute on Faith and Giving's program that Chi-Chi and Laura took in 2014.

One of them, when he saw that he had been healed, returned and praised God with a loud voice. He fell on his face at Jesus' feet and thanked him. Luke 17:15-16

The real motivation for giving some of our time, talent, and treasure to God is ultimately just to say thanks for all the gifts God has already given to us. When we think about it, everything we are and have is a gift to us from the hands of our generous God.

We did not create the marvelous and miraculous body in which we live. Our bodies were created by God through our parents and given to us for our journey here on earth. We did not create the spark of God's spirit that God placed in each of us we call our soul or the image of God within us. Our eternal soul is a gift from God.

We did not create our spouses, partners, children, parents, grandchildren, or friends. All the people we care for were created by God and given to us.

We did not create the ground we walk on; the air we breathe; the sun that gives us life; the birds, flowers, and animals; the food we eat; and everything that enables us to live on this earth. Everything in creation is a gift from the hands of our generous God.

We did not create Jesus Christ who came and lived among us to teach us how to trust God totally, surrender ourselves into God's loving hands, and discover an eternally meaningful life through his life, death, and resurrection.

The truth about life is that everything we are and everything we have is a loving gift from the hands of a kind and generous God.

We give some of our time, talent, and treasurer back to God not out of obligation, guilt, or a need to meet a church budget. We give to God "just to say thanks" for all that God has first created and given to us.

Gratitude to God is the fundamental scriptural reason and our motivation for giving our time in worship, our talent in service, and our financial gifts to support God's ministry in the world.