The Effect of Thanksgiving in Christian Life in Christ Apostolic Church. A Case Study of Retiree of Oke Igbala Ago Ijesa
Objective of the study
The objective of the study is to ascertain the effect of thanksgiving in Christian life in Christ Apostolic church in Retiree of Oke Igbala Ago Ijesa. The specific objectives are;
- To ascertain the effect of thanksgiving in a life of Christ Apostolic church in Retiree of Oke Igbala Ago Ijesa
- To find out whether God really appreciate thanksgiving from Christian
- To find out whether thanksgiving open more doors for Christ Apostolic church members in Retiree of Oke Igbala Ago Ijesa.
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
Definition and reflection on concepts of ‘gift’ and ‘gratitude
According to Camenisch (1981:2) a ‘gift’ is an ‘unearned benefit received from a donor’. Expanding on this definition, Camenisch (1981:2) states that a gift must thus be understood as (1) something of value (2) intentionally bestowed by a donor (who gives it primarily to benefit the recipient) upon (3) a recipient who (a) accepts it, knowing that it is a benefit, (b) who has no right to or claim upon it, and (c) who is not expected to pay for it in the future in any usual way (i.e. in no specific way in which roughly the equivalent value is returned); and (4) which brings into being a new moral relationship to the donor and the acceptance of limits upon the use of the gift. Salvation or redemption is what God gave to redeemed individuals and groups sola gratia, that is, by God’s grace alone, and was received sola fide, meaning by faith alone. The gift of salvation gives the recipient a second chance to once more be joined to God, the source of life and blessings. Godfrey Wainwright (Greggs 2017:157) states the importance, and how to relate to the gift of salvation, thus: ‘The gratuity of worship expresses the character of salvation as gift: a gift to be actively enjoyed’. This gift to be actively enjoyed is, without doubt, the gift that only God, the only source of redemption and joyous life, can give. Greggs (2017) rightly asserts in this regard: Only the grace of God can save, and the life of faith is a life that responds and in this response participates in the movement of God’s grace towards the creature. (p. 155) The gift of the once-and-for-all salvation and sanctification by grace alone (sola gratia) inexorably brings into existence the relationship between the gracious God and the thankful human recipient. This life-giving gift is stated clearly in John 3:16: ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son in order that whoever believes in him shall not perish but will gain eternal life’. Wilson (2015:14) is right when he states: ‘In my opinion, it is insufficient to simply appreciate a benefaction; in so doing, one depersonalizes and objectifies what is implicitly a personal relationship’. Wilson points out that the beneficiary has the imperative of not only concentrating on the gift but also being aware of the benefactor as a deity or person to whom recognition must be given. Wilson (2015:14) rightly states further: ‘The personal relationship of the beneficiary and the benefactor encourages their physical and mental health and helps each experience what it means to be a grateful person’. Gratitude thus creates a positive relationship between the beneficiary and the benefactor.
Though Krause (2006:164), citing Emmons, McCullough and Tsang’s research, pointed out the difficulty of defining the concept of ‘gratitude’, useful insights from some scholars, especially regarding its value, make it possible and necessary to grapple with explicating the concept. People like Martin Luther, the pioneer reformer, and the 20th century theologian Karl Barth are said to have commented favourably and usefully about gratitude. Emmons and Kneezel (2005:140) provide us with the following comments from Luther and Barth: it is ‘the basic Christian attitude’ (Luther) and ‘grace and gratitude go together like heaven and Earth; grace evokes gratitude like the voice and echo’ (Barth). Such comments point to the centrality of gratitude in the Christian religion and in general human life. This fact is increasingly confirmed by research; for example, Watkins et al. (2003) point out: … gratitude is important to people and ‘grateful’ appears to be a highly valued trait. In a recent study of over 800 descriptive trait words, ‘grateful’ was rated in the top four percent in terms of likeability. (p. 432) Such research findings encourage further reflection on the concept of gratitude as an important virtue for religious and other people. Worthen and Isakson (2007:34) rightly refer to gratitude as ‘… a universally desired virtue at personal, interpersonal, organizational and community levels’. This means that gratitude is a virtue desired by all or most human beings. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia (New Advent), the word ‘virtue’ means, in its widest sense, ‘the excellence of perfection of a thing’, while in its strictest meaning, as used by moral philosophers and theologians, ‘it signifies a habit superadded to a faculty of the soul, disposing it to elicit with readiness acts conformable to our rational nature’. Augustine, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia, cited above, says virtue ‘is a good habit consonant with our nature’, while for Thomas Aquinas, it is a habitus ‘operativus bonus’, ‘an operative habit essentially good’. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, gratitude, which resides under the moral virtue ‘justice’, ‘inclines one to recognition of benefits received’. According to these descriptions, the word ‘gratitude’ thus represents a very positive, highly required and useful habit. The word ‘gratitude’ itself is derived from the Latin gratia, meaning ‘favour’, and gratus, meaning ‘pleasing’ (Emmons & Stern 2013:846). All derivatives from this Latin root have to do with kindness, generosity, gifts, the beauty of giving, receiving, and repaying benefits and kindness. In this sense, gratitude functions to help regulate relationships by solidifying, affirming and strengthening them.
The research design adopted in this research work is the survey research design which involves the usage of self-designed questionnaire in the collection of data. Under the survey research design, primary data of this study will be collected from Christ Apostolic Church in Retiree of Oke Igbala Ago Ijesa in order to determine the effect of thanksgiving in Christian life in Christ Apostolic church. The design was chosen because it enables the researcher to collect data without manipulation of any variables of interest in the study. The design also provides opportunity for equal chance of participation in the study for respondents.
Population of Study
The population of study is the census of all items or a subject that possess the characteristics or that have the knowledge of the phenomenon that is being studied (Asiaka, 1991). It also means the aggregate people from which the sample is to be drawn.
Population is sometimes referred to as the universe. The population of this research study will be Seventy-five (75) members of Christ Apostolic Church in Retiree of Oke Igbala Ago Ijesa.
DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION
This chapter is about the analysis and presentation of data collected from the field through questionnaire. The analysis of the data with particular question immediately followed by the presentation of findings.
As mentioned in chapter three, 50 questionnaires were administered and 50 were retrieved and necessary analysis was carried out on them and presented as follows:
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain the effect of thanksgiving in Christian Life in Christ Apostolic Church. In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of the effect of thanksgiving in Christian Life in Christ Apostolic Church
This study was on the effect of thanksgiving in Christian Life in Christ Apostolic Church. Three objectives were raised which included: To ascertain the effect of thanksgiving in a life of Christ Apostolic church in Retiree of Oke Igbala Ago Ijesa, to find out whether God really appreciate thanksgiving from Christian and to find out whether thanksgiving open more doors for Christ Apostolic church members in Retiree of Oke Igbala Ago Ijesa. The total population for the study is 75 members of Christ Apostolic Church in Retiree of Oke Igbala Ago Ijesa. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies
It has emerged that Christian gratitude for the gift of salvation and promise of eternal life is supposed to be a lifestyle. It has also become clear that the life of gratitude promotes good health and a joyous existence. For this reason, it was discovered, teaching on gratitude as a Christian lifestyle should become the heart of the church’s teaching if it is to successfully counter the emergence of nominal Christianity.
Christ Apostolic church pastors and other churches should encourage members to thanks God no better what
Should also be preached in churches the benefit of thanksgiving.
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