39. I Choose Stewardship

One of the most important words in the Christian lexicon is “stewardship.” Yet, it’s one of the least used words, so let us reflect upon it a little today before we choose it. The best way to understand stewardship is through a parable Jesus once told. You will find this in Matthew 25:14-30. Jesus told of a man who traveled to a distant country. Before departing, he gave talents to his servants. A talent was a unit of currency, although it has deeper symbolism that we will come to.

The first servant, who received five talents, worked to build them into five more. The second servant, who received two talents, also doubled their value. But the third servant, who received one talent, buried it. When the master returned, he praised the first and second servants, but he took the one talent from the third servant because he proved a bad steward of the money, having done nothing to increase its value. 

The talents in this parable are often interpreted as symbolic of the gifts, abilities, and resources that God has given to each person. Simply put, they are time, talent, and treasure (which include material possessions and wealth). When God blesses us with these things, they are not just for ourselves; they are to be shared with others. There are rewards and consequences based on how we use or neglect the blessings God has given us. Therefore, we need to be good stewards.

An excellent example of a good steward is Joseph (not the father of Jesus but the one of technicolored coat fame). Scripture says that “Joseph found favor in Potiphar’s eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned” (Genesis 39:4). Joseph didn’t own anything, nothing in Potiphar’s house belonged to him, but he was made responsible for it all. Similarly, even though we might like to think otherwise, we own nothing. It’s all God’s, and he will call us to account for what we did with it.

Do we acknowledge that God is the primary source of everything? If he is, then do we realize that we are stewards of all he has given us, that everything is his, including our wealth? Or, perhaps, especially our wealth. Money is a unique barometer of the human condition. We may not have any trouble sharing time and talent, but when it comes to money, that fist clenches. However, we need to loosen that fist and give — and give generously.

We acknowledge three things when we give. One, we acknowledge we serve God, not money. Two, we acknowledge that God is the one who is responsible for whatever money we have and give him credit for it. And three, we acknowledge what is really important: God’s kingdom! Ironically once we realize that we serve God, not money, then we are blessed with a lot of it. To quote Paul, “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).

So let us choose to be good stewards of the gift, abilities, and resources that God has given us, using them wisely and for the benefit of growing God’s kingdom here on earth. 

God bless you.


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