Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Joy of Giving: A Humble Spirit is Pleasing to God and Others~ Hogan Stevens

Thanksgiving is a day where we all gather together and celebrate everything that God has given us. It's usually a day filled with family, food, and fun...and if you're anything like my family, there's lots of food. Turkey--of course--, mashed potatoes, green beans, sweet rolls, macaroni, meatloaf, ham, deviled eggs, corn, okra...The list goes on and on, and I've not even listed dessert!
While enjoying the delicious foods prepared and brought by everyone, we sit in the living area talking and laughing with the whole family. It's great fun, and usually everyone stays til late at night, leaving only when the littlest little ones are drowsing on the floor and in laps.
That's pretty much it, right? That's all there is to Thanksgiving: family and food, and most especially enjoying yourself.
Well, not exactly.
Thanksgiving. It's a compoud word. 'Thanks' means to show gratitude. 'Giving' or 'give' means to grant or bestow to another. So what better way to show your gratitude to God for all He has done than to bestow this thankful spirit onto someone else? If you are happy to be alive and blessed, then why not spread that joy to another and make them just as glad? God rejoices in those who are humble and kind; it pleases Him to see His children loving one another.
For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. (Luke 18:14b)

Being humble--showing kindness and no prejudice, love and compassion to everyone--is something that can change everything. By being humble, we as Christians exude all that is good about being a follower of Christ. Sometimes it may be hard to show love to someone. You know what I mean. Every girl has that one person that gets under her skin, even if it's for seemingly no reason, but it's up to us to put aside those petty feelings and decide to be the kind, generous person that God made you to be.

You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty. (Psalm 18:27, referring to the Lord.)

This Thanksgiving, I think we should all try to take this to heart. It can be something simple, like smiling at a lady you pass on the street or helping an elderly man pick up something he dropped. Those are great gestures and they might very well make that person's day, but you can be even more kind and giving by doing so much more. Help a neighbor rake leaves or help your younger brother with his homework. Do the laundry for your mother, wash your dad's truck when he's too busy, give a kind and encouraging word to a sad woman you meet at the market. You get the idea, I'm sure.
Be kind.
Be loving.
 Most importantly, give. Give some of that wonderful, inspiring Jesus-spirit to everyone you meet. Not just during the Thanksgiving holiday, but every day. Be that girl that everyone else admires, the girl that, just by looking at her, everyone can tell has something special about her. Be that girl that, just by the way she acts and carries herself, has the love of Jesus shining through her.
Galatians 5:25 says, "Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." By saying this, Paul meant that since we now have the spirit of Jesus (the Holy Ghost) inside of us, we should act like it. We should be like Jesus.
Do you know the fruits of the Spirit? Coconuts, right? No! The fruits--or actions--are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. And to have such fruits, one must have a humble and giving mindset.
What about you? Are you patient and kind to everyone you meet and in everything you do? If not, that's okay! You still have time to learn. Just open your heart and mind to Jesus, and He will lovingly guide you.
This Thanksgiving, I hope you remember that it's not all about the food and the fun; it's much more than that. It's about showing and giving the love of God to others.
Did you know that Hogan speaks Italian?!

Did you know that Jess and her sister, Beth, made all of the headers for the articles AND our main header?!

Photograph property of Lilies Among Thorns Magazine. Photograph taken by Jess Mc.


  1. This was AWESOME Hogan! Thanks so much girl :)

  2. This was VERY nice :) Lots of people {including myself!} sometimes forget thaat THANKSgiving is about giving thanks, and not just food, fun, and family. :P
    You're great, girl! And, wow, you can speak