If you grew up with siblings, you probably learned pretty quickly the importance of sharing. Not that you necessarily liked it – but, you were told it was important. Mom or Dad probably had to have a talk with you about the fact that you were supposed to share what you had with others. This was a particularly difficult lesson for me.
Perhaps I struggled with the idea because most of my childhood, I was the only kid in the house, so I didn’t always have a reason to share. Or, maybe it’s because when I did have to share, it was usually with my nephews, and they had a tendency to destroy my things. (Ok, maybe that’s a bit exaggerated, but I definitely remember multiple lost items to their destructive nature.)
Let’s pause here and notice something Paul says in Colossians 2:6-7 – “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him … abounding in thanksgiving.” If you look up these verses, you’ll see that I skipped a couple phrases, but they are just descriptive phrases of our faith in Jesus. Notice that the flow of the sentence tells us that walking with the Lord means we are abounding in thanksgiving.
We might naturally point to a number of ways in which a person could walk with the Lord – through prayer, through faith, through worship, etc. But, I wonder if the idea of “abounding in thanksgiving” is too often overlooked as a necessary part of our Christian walk. The idea of being thankful or giving thanks is mentioned 40 times in the New Testament letters (everything from Romans to Revelation), so we shouldn’t neglect its importance.
But, what does it mean to be abounding in thanksgiving? Does it mean we’re generally positive and not looking for reasons to complain? Does it mean our prayers are as focused on gratefulness as they are on requests of God? Does it mean we go out of our way to thank those who have an impact on us? Yes, yes, and yes. However, it means at least one more thing…
We’re sharing. God hasn’t blessed us and taken care of us so that we can hoard it all for ourselves. We’re to share what we have. Whether that means doing a better job of giving appropriately to the church or using our talents to bless others, or giving our time to someone in need.
If we are truly abounding in thanksgiving, then we will be sharing what we have with others. Think about it.
— Bryan Dill