Stewardship. What a weird word. Makes me think of some thick soup on a giant boat or some lanky, quirky, for-ever in the girl next door’s friend zone guy, named Stew who runs his own business that specializes only in shiplap – probably to win the heart of the girl next door. Anyway! I digress. Wikipedia defines biblical stewardship as:
“Utilizing and managing all resources God provides for the glory of God and the betterment of His creation.” The central essence of biblical worldview stewardship is managing everything God brings into the believer’s life in a manner that honors God.
And that’s what we’ll focus on today; because, while worldly stewardship may be what I suggested above or may be taking care of a ship, property or group of people – whatevs, what we’re concerned with is biblical stewardship and how to go about it.
Like many of you who grew up in the church, I always thought biblical stewardship was just simply paying my tithes and being smart with my money. Over the years, I realized that it was more than that – perhaps my talents and time. Since then, I’ve learned it’s even more than that!
Paul R. McDonald in his doctoral dissertation says, “Stewardship is everything one does after becoming a Christian . 1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us to do everything to the glory of God and although it’s been one of my favorite verses for years, I somehow never equated it to stewardship. Go figure. If it’s everything I do for His glory, then it must take all that I have. C.S. Lewis put it well in Mere Christianity, “Every faculty you have, your power of thinking or of moving your limbs from moment to moment, is given you by God. If you devoted every moment of your whole life exclusively to His service, you could not give Him anything that was not in a sense His own already.” Makes perfect sense! How did I not see it before?
My breath (health) is His – I should take well to use it to keep me alive and calm for His service.
My money is His.
My family is His.
My job is His.
My friendships are His.
My home is His.
My car is His.
My clothes are His.
My friendships are His.
My talents are His.
What I know about anything (knowledge) is His.
All these things need to be used yes, for my own benefit as one of His own, but also to share with the world to bring others to Him – for His glory.
We know that one day we will give an account for all the things we did or didn’t do (Matthew 12:36) and that those who know the good they ought to do and don’t do it, to them it is sin (James 4:17). Paul R. McDonald also said in his dissertation that, “stewards were subordinate to the owner and responsible for achieving the objectives of the owner.”
Great. So, how?
TONS o’ PRAYER
First of all, we need a whole lot of prayer. For me, prayer isn’t sitting in a special place on my knees before God for a set time everyday; although, it certainly is that once in a while. For me, prayer is constant conversation before Him. My words go out of my heart to His almost as often as my breath leaves my body and fresh oxygen returns again. It’s a constant rhythm.
So, for me to steward all I have to His glory in any given moment looks like,
“Lord, help me as I reprimand my kid right now.”
“Lord, should I buy this 1000th lipgloss?”
“Lord, should I tell my friend what I know to be true about you?”
“Lord, thank you for this car. I will keep it clean and well maintained.”
“Lord, thank you for this home. May it always be ready to receive guests who need respite from the world.”
With every breath, like a heartbeat…
Now, I know that may seem like a lot of work to you, but I promise once you get going it eventually becomes automatic, just like your breath. But there’s more
THE WAY HE TOLD US
The second way to know how to do this, is duh, His word. In His word, we see that we should:
Tithe (stewarding finances)
Be ready to give an account in season and out (stewarding what we know)
Not exasperate our children
Honor your father and mother
Be ready to entertain guests for in so doing we may be entertaining angels
I mean, the bible point blank tells us how to steward everything. And our life tests are always open book! Yay for an easy A!
This great article I read on stewardship says this, “Fundamentally, stewardship is about exercising our God-given dominion over His Creation. Through our stewardship, we reflect God’s image and care toward all of Creation and fulfill our roles as caretakers and stewards.”
We are created in His image and given all we have by Him to care for it as He would. Wow. So cool. Stewardship isn’t such a weird word anymore. In fact, I think it may be my new favorite word.