Giving & Thanksgiving


The Christian life has two basic shapes: cruciform and eucharistic. It is about giving and thanksgiving. It is about dying to self, and abounding in gratitude. Like Christ, we are called to live cruciform lives – arms stretched wide in giving and receiving. And through Christ, we are released to live eucharistic lives – arms stretched wide in thanking and rejoicing.


Here’s an irony: almost all deeply thankful people, at least that I know, have less of everything – less health, wealth, beauty, opportunity: everything – than entitled people. That’s because their thankfulness is not so much a response as it is a choice. It’s a resolve. It’s a conviction. They choose thanks over complaint, over coveting, over self-pity. In the eyes of the thankful, all life is eucharistic – literally, a good gift, a good grace (though sometimes well-disguised). They choose, therefore, over and over, to give thanks in all things and for all things, sometimes in spite of many things.


And they also choose the obvious outworking of thankfulness: generosity. Real gratitude always engenders rich generosity. Eucharistic living always flows into cruciform living, a life of giving yourself away. God lavishes his grace upon us, not that we would bottle it, but that we would channel it. He’s not looking for holding tanks. He’s looking for sluices. Grace abounds so that it might overflow.


This weekend is Canadian thanksgiving. It is a good gift – a eucharist – to yearly be reminded: be thankful, be generous. It’s an even better gift to daily live thus.


Happy thanksgiving. 

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5 thoughts on “Giving & Thanksgiving

  1. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

    Blessed Thanksgiving, Mark — may it be a lifestyle and not a holiday… a lifestyle making all the days holy-days…

    All’s grace,
    Ann Voskamp

    • I’ve read and re-read your book, ear-tapped pages galore …. been a life giver to me, calm, refreshing, … and indeed yes one has to live it. I’m even writing my own list and it puts smiles on my face and I thank God for how He’s showing himself to me. Can’t wait for you and Mark’s book together.
      Would love to get it autographed by you both. ?.. Maybe in heaven?
      Thanks Cindy A.

  2. Oh, this is such inspiration Mark, I agree with Ann’s sentiment – Yes! I’m thinking about all my Canadian friends and relatives as you celebrate Thanksgiving this weekend. May God richly bless your family as you give thanks. Sharing this . . .