Worshiping God Through Your Gifts
“Use the gifts you have received, and pass on the love that has been given you.” Saint Therese of Lisieux
I have a tendency to compartmentalize my life. On a typical weekday I wake up, say Morning Prayer, pour myself a cup of coffee, journal, and check emails. I have a routine and I have separate prayer and work times that, for the most part, don’t overlap, except for the occasional Hail Mary to begin a meeting or phone call.
But here’s a radical thought... What if I’m looking at it all wrong? What if my work is worship?
What It Means To Worship
First, let’s look at what Scripture says about worship. Psalm 95:6 says, “Oh, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!” Isaiah 12:15 says, “Sing praises to the Lord, for He has done glorious things; let this be made known in all the earth.”
Then, jumping into the New Testament, Hebrews 13:15 says, “Through him let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge His name.” Romans 12:1 says, “I appeal to you, therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Luke 4:8 says, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.’”
This small data set alone shows that worship involves a posture of humility (such as bowing down or kneeling), singing and speaking praises, making known what someone has done for you, sacrifice, and service.
The word worship actually means ‘worthy of praise,’ and this would usually be ascribed to someone in a position of power (such as a king or deity). Furthermore, the worship of a king or deity would traditionally include offering the firstfruits of one’s harvest, which was the primary source of income in many ancient civilizations.
Now, what does that mean for us?
Questions To Ask Ourselves
In my work, do I give God the best of myself? Do I give him my “firstfruits”?
Am I humble and do I have confidence in God and in the abilities he gave me?
How do I make known what the Lord has done for me? If you don’t know where to start, read Mary’s song of praise, the Magnificat.
Have I developed and used the gifts God gave me or have I squandered them? For further reading, check out the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30.
What has God given me and what have I done with it? Does my labor bear fruit?
Am I a living sacrifice? Am I serving God and offering up my hard work to him?
I would like you to meditate with these questions, pray with them.
For St. Therese of Lisieux, “Prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look towards Heaven.” Prayer, therefore, does not require that you spend hours a day in a church, but rather that you turn your heart towards God and put love behind what you do, and this is possible throughout the workday.
Using your gifts is one way to pray, worship, and give glory to God.
God gives us gifts for the benefit of others – not for our good, but for the good of the larger Church. These gifts generally fall into two categories: natural gifts (such as interests, talents, skills, knowledge, and opportunities) and supernatural gifts (such as virtues, charisms, and gifts of the Spirit).
As Catholic women in business, some of those natural gifts may include creativity, charisma, and entrepreneurship experience and some of those supernatural gifts may include encouragement, fortitude, administration, faith, and counsel.
Everything you do is an opportunity for God to show up, and by inviting God to use you and the gifts that you have, you give Him the proper reverence, you show him His proper value. That is what worship is.
When you develop your natural or supernatural gifts and use them in your work, you build a relationship of trust with God.
We established that worship is expressed through a posture of humility, singing and speaking praises, making known what someone has done for you, sacrifice, and service, but that definition reminds me a lot of romantic love. I picture a man on his knees proposing and pledging His life to sing your praises and serve you, and ultimately, that is the relationship between Christ and His Bride, the Church – you. In worshiping God through our gifts, through sacrifice, labor, and service, we give that love back.
Samantha Yee is a national Catholic speaker, writer, poet, and the managing editor of the Catholic Women in Business blog. A Bay Area native and alum of UC Berkeley, Sam grew up in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley and is largely influenced by the innovation and creativity of the burgeoning tech industry. When she was 10, she taught herself to code, started her first business (an online T-shirt shop), and was instantly hooked; the rest, as they say, is history. Sam consults for churches, nonprofits, and businesses around the United States and the world. Her favorite projects include running a Pinterest marketing campaign for Walmart, giving a talk at Google, being interviewed on CBS News, editing Br. Anthony Freeman’s book, and writing a play for the Missionaries of Charity. Sam spends most of her days discipling married couples and creating resources and curriculum for intergenerational family faith formation as a parish missionary in Anchorage, Alaska.