As our thoughts turn to the new year ahead of us, many of us are thinking of ways we can improve our lives on many levels. One way to look at spiritual improvement and growth is to consider the ways that we can give back to Christ in response to all that He has done on our behalf. The gifts that we give to Christ won’t be wrapped up in a fancy box and placed under the Christmas tree, but they are the most meaningful gifts we will ever give.
An Attitude of Gratitude
Cultivating an attitude of gratitude is a way for us to express our love and appreciation to the Savior and allows us to draw closer to Him. An attitude of gratitude is one that prevails in any circumstance. It means that we’re not just grateful for things that we have, or for ways that our lives are going well, but that we live in a perpetual state of gratefulness, recognizing our blessings and focusing on the positives in life no matter what situation we find ourselves in.
Loving Thy Neighbor
Christ said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren ye have done it unto me.” (Matt 25:40) With this counsel, He made it clear that the best way we can give back to Him is by giving to others here in this life. It’s surprising how many opportunities for service crop up when you’re praying for them. You can vastly improve your testimony and the lives of others by responding to these calls to service. Remember this scripture as you serve and know that Christ appreciates your efforts on an individual and personal level.
Humility and Repentance
Christ has already atoned for our sins. He has already suffered for our shortcomings, whether we choose to put the Atonement to work in our lives or not. We can validate Christ’s suffering and show Him that we appreciate His sacrifice by working to become humble and to repent for our sins. Part of the continual process of recovery is to take a personal inventory, recognize shortcomings, and then work alongside God to repair them. This process is also known as repentance and is a way to express our love for our Savior.
Taking Daily Action
The gifts that we give Christ are often instigated and/or delivered as we strive to live the Gospel on a day-by-day basis. Daily prayer and scripture study are the foundation for personal grown and are the means by which we can cultivate a Christlike attitude. Regular church attendance and participation within our ward family will often be the avenues for service to others and give us the added support we need to continue to repent, improve, and express our gratitude for Christ.
Lee Williams is licensed as a Substance Use Disorder Counselor and a Certified Social Worker. He graduated from the University of Utah with a Master’s Degree in Social Work and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with Certification in Criminology and Corrections. He is currently working on a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.