MPD Connections: “Turning Back”

From the April 8, 2016, MPD Connections by Todd Mathews with Cru:

Turning back is usually considered a negative thing—a sign of retreat or giving up. But in one familiar story, it’s quite the opposite.

In Luke 17:11-19 we read about Jesus healing ten lepers. In verse 12 Jesus is met by the whole group. They “lifted up their voices saying, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.’” Clearly, they had a need and did not hesitate to ask Jesus to get involved.

In verse 14 Jesus responds. He says, “‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went they were cleansed.” What a gracious gift from Jesus!

What happens next? “ONE [emphasis added] of them saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving Him thanks.”

We can only speculate that the other nine also felt thankful. Didn’t they notice that they, too, were healed? Of course! If nothing else, they must have felt relieved. The burden of illness was lifted. They could move forward in freedom to do all sorts of things that illness had prevented. Maybe that’s why they didn’t turn back. Turning back takes time and effort—time that could be used for other things. After all, Jesus said, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” Surely Jesus knew they were thankful, right?

Jesus noticed the man who turned back to offer praise and thanksgiving to him. Jesus also noticed that the other nine did not turn back.

In MPD I must turn back to say thank you. But I have a lot of other important demands on my time. The very things that our partners give generously toward are the things that fill my schedule. It would seem that they would know I appreciate their gift, right?

No. Like Jesus, our partners want the tangible expression of our gratitude. They deserve our intentional effort to turn back and say, “Thank you.” And we need hearts that are shaped by gratitude. In the story of the lepers, the one who turned back experienced a relational connection with Christ. When we give thanks, it speaks value to the giver AND it’s good for our hearts, too.

Are you behind or negligent in saying thanks to your partners? Now is the right time to turn back and honor them. It pleases God, blesses your friends and it’s good for you, too!

How TntConnect helps you “turn back and say thanks”

TntConnect uses Automatic Actions in response to new gifts, to alert you to any urgent tasks related specifically to partner gifts. Each time a partner gives a gift, TntConnect asks a series of questions related to that gift. If it gets a “Yes” answer (that is, a task has been created), it stops, even if the gift might generate more than one task. Here are some of the things TNT is looking for:

  • First Gift (and therefore, fulfillment of an initial commitment)
  • EXTRA gift (more than commitment)
  • SMALLER gift (less than commitment)
  • Missed gift (partner is more than 30 days behind in their commitment), and 
  • RECONTINUING (partner missed gift and then gave again)
  • LARGE TIME FRAME (partner is fulfilling their commitment, but it is 6-12 months between their regular gifts)

One thing TNT also does is simply check your thank you history and alert you if a partner has not had a thank you in a certain number of months (11 is the default, but you can pick any number of months). This is really helpful, because many partners give faithfully, never out of the ordinary. So none of their “normal” activity would create a thank you task. But they still deserve a thank you.

Read more about Automatic Actions for New Gifts

A short video on the Automatic Actions

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