Do you have a friend who is always telling jokes, but he never laughs at anyone else’s jokes? Once you notice it, it becomes quite annoying. I am not advocating payback to the non-laugher, but for us to be considerate—to return the favor when we have been shown favor.
I have thought for some months about being more reciprocal (returning the favor) to others in positive ways. For example, I have some ministry friends who write newsletters or blogs, who also read and comment on some of my writings. So, I have been more conscious of being reciprocal to them by reading their writings.
I am sure, we all have had acquaintances who expected much from us but who rarely gave us a second thought, wink, or a nod when it came to our needs. Every extended family has members who are always asking favors but absent when it is their turn to help.
Excuse me for complaining a little bit but I need to bring the picture into focus. Where am I going with this? This is not a “fuss-fest”, I just wanted to set the table for our meal. Now for the main course, what about us?
Again, as I have seen wrong attitudes in others, it is time for an inward look. Do I reciprocate (give back) for the good that is done to me? Giving back is truly an element of being thankful. Since we see the good others have done for us, we in turn, need to give back to them and others. Mutual love, honor, and respect are attributes of the Kingdom of God.
I think it is hard to be selfish if we are truly thankful. We can flip the sentence—if we are thankful, then it is unlikely we are selfish. Simply, return the favor.
Have you ever thought about how God may feel? I have observed people whom God has brought through difficult times of sickness, great needs, and difficulties but once they are past their problems, they drop God and his people like a hot potato. People use God for their own selfish needs and then go the other way when happier days come along. Often God does not get the deserved reciprocal wave of acknowledgment.
The ten lepers in Luke chapter 17 were cleansed from their leprosy but only one turned back to give God glory. Jesus was amazed that only one returned but He knowing all men was surely not surprised.
As we roll out of Thanksgiving, let’s be thankful and continue with an attitude of returning the favor of blessings by reciprocating to others and God from the bounty of our blessing. Surely, we are blessed—now let us bless others. Let’s show gratitude by returning the favor to others.
Harry L. Whitt