2 Corinthians 9:11
“You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.”
I enjoy cooking at home. In fact, most of the time I prefer it to eating out. So I’m always looking up recipes to dishes I’m interested in making. And when I’m eating at a restaurant and try something that I’d like to make at home, it’s usually not long before I’m online comparing recipes for the perfect replication. Not all recipes are created equal so I typically look at reviews and compare ingredients. And just as in cuisine, there are recipes we can gather and implement to yield a full and savory life. So, what is the best recipe for thanksgiving?
Let’s admit it. 2020 has been a dumpster fire of a year in many ways. How are we supposed to be thankful during a time of fear, sickness, isolation, and political and cultural polarization? According to Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth, the best recipe for thanksgiving is generosity – generosity that reflects God’s generosity towards us. When we recognize how much God has blessed us, and use that to bless others, we receive the added blessing of being part of His transforming grace.
When we were down in Guatemala last week, each time we shared and prayed with families in their homes, our translators would hand us the bags of food to present to the families. They gave us the honor of blessing them. It was a tangible reminder that I was a part of something bigger than myself, a part of something that was giving others hope and joy and sustenance. I was being included in a generous process, that ultimately I had little to do with. And I was so grateful for the opportunity.
While using the HEAR method (see below) consider the following question:
- What are some ways that you can pass along the generosity that you’ve received?
Highlight – what words or phrases jump out at you?
Explain – what does the passage mean?
Apply – how does the passage intersect with your life today?
Respond – how is God leading you to respond?