When someone goes out of their way for us to lend a helping hand or surprise us with an act of generosity, we often try to find ways to show our appreciation or return the kindness. But for our loving Father who showers us with blessings and love every day, how can we possibly give back in a meaningful way?
“How can I repay the LORD for all the great good done for me?” – Psalm 116:12
Laura DeMaria is a writer and Catholic revert. She spoke about this topic on Morning Air, explaining that her first instinct is to think about the ways that she can give back in a tangible, material way.
“Once upon a time in the Old Testament that’s how it was done—people made sacrifices of doves and different things. … But of course, due to Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice, we don’t have to make physical sacrifices,” said DeMaria.
Just as we tithe, or give back to the Church a portion of what we earn, we can give a portion of the time that God has gifted us and use it to serve others.
“As Catholic we believe that you can see the face of Jesus in those that you meet on a daily basis,” explained DeMaria. And we are called to serve others, “not just because it’s nice and it feels good, it’s because by serving others we are also serving God.”
Another way we can give back to God is by simply expressing our gratitude. Yes, actions speak louder than words, but the words aren’t bad either. Avoid praying only prayers of petition, and make sure you pray in gratitude as well. Consider not only the tangible blessings you’ve been given—a job, a home, a family—but also praise God for the things you might take for granted—the gift of waking up in the morning, for sunshine and birds chirping, for time to spend with your loved ones, for the freedom to worship God. The things we can thank God for are endless.
Even if you don’t think you have much to offer God, there is always something to give. Maybe you don’t have strength or good health to get out and serve others—consider how St. Therese deeply desired to serve as a missionary, but due to her poor health she spent her last years on earth praying for the success of the missions. Perhaps you don’t have much money to give to the poor—you can give of your time to serve others in need.
And no matter your circumstance, you can give God your worship and praise. Above all, “He wants our hearts; He wants our will; He wants our mind; He wants our obedience. Everyone has those things and of course it’s a bit of a journey to be able to give those things freely,” said DeMaria.
Tune in to Morning Air weekdays at 5-8am CT only on Relevant Radio.