What is stewardship? To many Christians, the word 'stewardship' conjures up visions of periodic pleas from the pulpit to give more money. Or a church building program that will require a financial commitment for the next three years. In reality, stewardship is understanding that everything we own belongs to God, and we are responsible for making the very best use of the resources that God has entrusted into our hands -- whether great or small.
From a biblical perspective, stewardship involves much more than just our money. It means viewing all of your resources (your time, talents and relationships) as clay in the Potter's hands -- to be shaped, molded and used for His glory. This is not easy, but learning stewardship has been the most rewarding step of growth that I have ever taken in my life. I discovered the joy of stewardship about 10 years ago, when I rededicated my life, my family, and my business to the Lord Jesus Christ.
In the parable of the talents, Jesus reveals the key to enjoying kingdom living on earth: using our resources wisely. In fact, we are commanded to be good stewards or face the prospect of losing what we think we own. Notice that the amount of talents we are given will vary greatly, but the bottom line is the same -- use them or lose them! You see, the possibility of loss is an essential part of the Fathers plan to mature His children, just as discipline is vital to preparing our children for the real world. Gal. 6:7 tells us that God is not mocked, whatsoever a man sows that will he also reap.
Christianity alone can produce prosperity and justice in a family, a city or in a nation, over the long term. This is our heritage. But, over the last several generations our political and economic philosophy has shifted to a government-managed welfarism which rewards slothfulness and punishes good stewardship. Is it any wonder why stewardship has been abandoned in the pubic policy arena?
The good news is that we can reverse the curse by practicing good stewardship of our time, talents and money in our personal life while we begin calling our local and national leaders into accountability. Remember: true wealth is built intergenerationally (from father, to son, to grandson) and stewardship must be modeled starting in the home... not Washington D.C. So next time your pastor begins a series on stewardship begin to applaud him... he really doesn't like begging you to give more money anyway.