The Responsibility of Stewardship
The commonly accepted definition of stewardship for religious folks is the management of God’s gift to us of money. A worldly definition is; stewardship is an ethic that embodies the responsible planning and management of resources. While we think primarily of our God-given money resource, what else might be in this category of ‘resources’? God gives each of us gifts that allow us to be productive members of His Body, the Church. (Romans 12:6) As his children, we have the responsibility to use these gifts to the best of our ability. You might ask ’What is my gift?’ or ’How can my contribution help win others to Christ?’ We spent part of this past year investigating our ’gifts’ in our Sunday morning class, where Dennis helped guide us as we searched for our gifts. By the way, if you really find yourself in a quandary about how to use your gift in the Body, reach out and ask one of us.
So, back to the topic of ‘stewardship’. After understanding that we are all responsible for ’managing’ what God has blessed us with, let’s look at some specifics. My early years as a Christian were spent in a secular job, with jobs that provided pretty good earnings. While in those jobs, I wasn’t able to spend a large amount of time doing ’the Lord’s work’. But we were able to contribute more money as a family, while my income was higher. I was still able to participate in church activities, but my job took up a large part of my daily life. When I retired, my income decreased dramatically , but my available time increased significantly. So, our giving decreased, but our availability to participate in ’church work’ increased. My God-given resources, while changing somewhat, still had to be managed properly.
The bottom line, as they say, is, what does God expect of us? Are you doing and giving as He would expect? We are each blessed beyond what we deserve, as you well know. God blesses us so we can be a blessing to those around us. Galatians 6:10 instructs us to ’do good to all men especially to those that are of the household of faith.’ In Romans 14:9-12 it says that ‘each of us will give an account to God’. Use your ‘resources’ to become acceptable. God expects it!