Being grateful stewards and grateful believers

| Daniel Conway | September 26, 2013 | 0 Comments

The following is an excerpt from a commentary in the Sept. 13 issue of The Criterion, archdiocesan newspaper of Indianapolis. It was written by Daniel Conway.

In their pastoral letter “Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response,” the American bishops teach that authentic Christian stewardship is a disciple’s response in faith to all the gifts we have been given by a loving and generous God.

When somebody gives us a gift or does us a favor, we spontaneously say “thank you.” That’s the expected response our parents taught us to make at a very early age.

But just saying thanks isn’t really enough. Yes, we are expected to acknowledge in words the gift or benefit we have received, but we are expected to acknowledge it in action, too. This acknowledgment in action is not supposed to be a “payback” in which we calculate the value of what we have received and give exactly that much back to the giver.

Rather, it’s intended to be a more intense expression of grateful acknowledgment, a more emphatic way of showing that we are aware of what we have received and that we want to express our sincere appreciation by giving something in return.

Gratitude in action is more demanding than just expressing thanks with words. It’s more substantive. It costs more. It’s more complicated. But it is also more expressive, and the more we have been given, the more we are expected to give in return. Unless there is a willingness to give in return, the gratitude we express with words can easily become a mere formality.

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Category: Commentary