Gratitude#5. “Giving and receiving.”

Gratitude#5. “Giving and receiving.”

I went to visit the dental clinic when I was 10-years-old. It was not the ‘murder-house’ found at the typical primary school, but instead, a large room with multiple chairs, multiple children, and multiple dental students. The experience was overwhelming. When I climbed up in the chair, I was greeted by a young lady who had obviously had her fill of unhappy cavity laden children. As she drilled down hard on my nerves and added to my growing collection of amalgam fillings, she spoke her mind. She didn’t say much. She simply expressed that “kids today don’t know how good they have it.” I assure you, the best part of that whole experience was going back to school.

But maybe I should be a little more grateful—some of those fillings are still there; 50 years later.

Gratitude is taught. If not, a child wonders why they should appreciate that which is normal to them. It isn’t until they understand how blessed they are – compared to others – that they understand. Or do they? That sense of entitlement is alive and well.

I have a friend who visited a country “that nobody visits.” He was heartsore to note the abject poverty on a city street before him. “That was until,” he said, “I turned the corner; it was far worse!” It is little wonder that my friend is one of the most generous people I know—such experiences change a man.

There is no such thing as a stingy grateful person. A man who gives grudgingly knows not the joy a thankful spirit. When Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” he was promising that joy.

The first and greatest reward received by the giver is the honour of giving as God gives—generously! Thanksgiving abounds in the giver and the receiver. Praise God!

John Staiger

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