The Process of Giving Thanks: Acts of Thankfulness

By Joanne Putnam

November 2018
Pentecostal Life 

Download the November 2018 Facilitator/study guide to accompany this article.

Objective: To enable us to think of ways to give/display genuine thankfulness, not only to Jesus but to those whom Jesus uses to bless us

Thankfulness should be spoken and demonstrated. Not only should we thank people individually, but, as is demonstrated over and over in the Bible, we also need to thank God for the blessings He has allowed others to be to us.

Paul told his disciples in I Thessalonians 1:2, “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers.” And Paul again stated in II Timothy 1:3, “I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day.” We also need to tell others of the blessing people have been to us. Not only does it reinforce our appreciation of the blessing we have received, but it also encourages others to be a blessing. Thankfulness can be demonstrated in many ways, as exampled here:

All heads turned when Mary walked into the room. They did not expect her to be there nor to do what she did. To the shock of all in the room, she knelt by Jesus and began to wash His feet with her bottle of tears. Then she broke open the alabaster box of precious ointment and anointed his feet, drying them with her hair. She cared little for the murmuring and ridicule she began to hear around her. She could think of no other way to honor and bless the One who had delivered her from the torment of the seven devils He had cast out of her. Little did she know that her act of thanksgiving was the preparation for His burial. It is vitally important to be thankful and honor those who have blessed us. Tangible gifts that meet specific needs are even more appreciated and should be “bragged on” to others. We see this expressed by Jesus when He said, “Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her” (Mark 14:9).

The Freemans
Lifelong missionaries to Africa, E. L. and Nona Freeman, were scheduled to speak for our missions conference. My husband had the privilege of hosting them. He asked them if there was anything specific he could do for them. They requested to visit with someone they had known for many years.
The next day, he drove the Freemans the two-hour journey into the Bay Area. They found the address of their dear friend and knocked on the door. A young man answered and told them he would get his grandmother so they could visit with her. He literally carried the elderly woman down the steps. As he entered the room with her in his arms, the Freemans knelt at her feet, thanking her for her many years of service assisting them in Rosepine, Louisiana, before they went to the mission field. They wanted to express, once again, their thankfulness and appreciation for her love, prayer, and support through the years. It was an example of true humility and appreciation that my husband has never forgotten.

Generous Saints
After serving as overseas missionaries and teaching at one of our Bible colleges, we were asked to return to our home church as the pastor was completely burnt out. After much prayer and God’s specific direction, we felt it was God’s will to make the move. Little did we know the adversity we would face. Neither of us could find jobs in our field of study. Part-time jobs at minimum wage were all we could obtain. With three children to support and our in-laws paying our rent, it was quite humbling. The church we were attending was not able to help us monetarily, but a family in the church, with the pastor’s permission, wanted to bless us and thank us for making the sacrifice to come home. Little did they realize that their precious financial gift put food on our table for an entire year.

Hester and Bert Hester and Bert truly had the “gifts of helps.” They just seemed to know who needed a little extra money and a pat on the back. Hester and Bert often stopped by the home of an elderly gentleman to cut his hair. Bert never charged the man anything because he figured he had nothing to give. One day the man told Bert he wanted to give him something. “Bert, I got a wallet here that I want to give you.”
“Oh, I don’t need a wallet,” Bert politely told him.
“Bert, you take the wallet,” Hester said. “He really wants you to have it.”
How surprised they were to find ten crisp one-hundred-dollar bills tucked inside, right at a time when they personally had a financial need. The old man knew he didn’t have long to live and wanted to thank them for all the times they had blessed him.
The Scriptures declare that in the last days, people would be unthankful. We see proof of this every day in the workplace, in our schools, and in the general public. Don’t be a part of this “untoward generation.” “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy” (II Timothy 3:2). Let’s strive to make a conscious effort to be a thankful person not only to the Lord, but to every person we meet.