November 17, 2011
We’re spending the month of November in church focusing on Thanks-Giving. I made the statement a few weeks ago, "It’s not the thanks that we have a problem with, it’s the giving that gets us." Recently I saw this quote by former General and Secretary of State Colin Powell, "Giving back involves a certain amount of giving up." I thought that was a powerful statement. The part of giving that is challenging is the release of control. When we give of our time, abilities, money, love, etc. we are giving up or turning over control. We are taking a risk every time we give of ourselves. Will it be accepted or rejected? Will it be enough? Will it be judged? Will it be used properly? Will we get anything in return? These are the questions that can make giving scary. We fall into a trap when we confuse control with being safe. Control of the gift we have to offer ultimately keeps us imprisoned
in the clutter of what we have to offer.
Giving up control is a huge challenge for us. It requires an attitude of risk. Let me put it this way -
if there isn't some level of risk involved, we are probably not giving up control, not stretching ourselves, and are holding back. “Safe” and “Giving” are words that we don't often use together.
So again, it’s not the thanks that we have a problem with, it’s the giving that gets us.