Our four-part series on the core values of stewardship concludes this week with gratitude.
On Easter we celebrated Jesus’ resurrection, the triumph of life over death, the ultimate gifts of love and eternal life. God loves us so much that he gave us his son Jesus, who gave his life to save us. When someone gives us a gift, it’s usually given out of love, and naturally our gratitude follows.
We can accept that God gives us everything we need, and he does for us what we can’t do for ourselves. When we realize this, we are grateful for God’s wisdom in what he provides for us. If there’s something we don’t have, maybe we didn’t need it in the first place. If God wants us to have something, we can remember that nothing is impossible with him (Luke 1:37).
Gratitude is the fruit of some of the other core values of stewardship, like our identity and trust in God. As we broaden our awareness of God’s plan in action all around us, we lose our self-centeredness, and focus on what we have, and what we can do with it. Stewards see everything as gifts from God. Since we have all that we need, we don’t – and won’t – need to take anything for granted.
Gratitude also helps us realize we can make do with less, and not need everything we may want, which can brighten and declutter our lives. If we start thinking we don’t need so much, we lose our self-centeredness and desire to control and acquire.
If we don’t have to have everything we want, we also realize how much we really do have, which is probably more than we will ever need, thanks to God’s generosity. We realize how fortunate and blessed by God we are, and that is how we become grateful stewards of God’s wonderful, abundant gifts.
--Jim Wollak, Parishioner
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