There is no better way to practically define what total life stewardship really is than with this simple phrase: keeping the heart of God at the heart of living. Stewardship is all about carrying out the wishes of God, the Owner, as one of the caretakers of His property.
Stewards continually examine their behavior — their motives, their thoughts, their attitudes, the direction their lives are headed, and whether their lives are a close replica of the life of Jesus. Unfortunately, we far too often examine our lives only when something is going wrong or we face some significant crisis.
We live in two kingdoms — our spiritual kingdom and our material kingdom. We can find ourselves attempting to straddle these two kingdoms, one foot planted in each even as they drift apart, leaving us facing double trouble. The Bible offers several metaphors to expose this contradictory double life.
Mankind has been given a creation mandate to fill — to subdue and have dominion (rule) over all of God’s good creation. In other words, mankind has been assigned the role of general manager of the Father’s world. What an incredible honor! What an incredible responsibility!
As Americans, we live in the richest nation in the world. Because we are surrounded with degrees of material prosperity, the idea of being poor in spirit presents us with an extraordinary challenge and an opportunity that can prove either powerful or destructive. How are we supposed to be poor in spirit while being rich in things?
Only when we accept the truth of God’s ownership of everything, can we be prepared to ask the one question that changes everything. It is a question we must ask daily, sometimes even hourly. The question is this: God, what do You want me to do with all that You have entrusted to me?
“Stewardship” might just be one of the most misused biblical terms in the Christian vocabulary. If we were to poll a cross section of Christians and ask them what the word “stewardship” means, the overwhelming majority would say it has something to do with money and giving. This is partially right and partially wrong. And as my grandmother told me growing up, “If something is partially wrong, it is all wrong.”
Am I being a trustworthy steward of the gospel? Proverbs 11:30 (NIV) tells us, he who wins souls is wise, and might I add, is also a trustworthy steward. May we all be found trustworthy in this, our ultimate stewardship priority.