Are You A Good Steward?
For the longest, I always thought being a good steward only applied to personal finances. I grew up hearing the Parable of the Talents, and because the example directly discussed money and investment, I knew that I always had to take care of money wisely. Little did I know that stewardship goes beyond finances. It applies to every area of your life.
In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus tells the Parable of the Talents to illustrate how we should use our time, gifts, talents, and other resources that He has given us until He returns. In the parable, a man, who left his house to travel, entrusted his three servants with bags of money, dividing it according to each servants' capabilities. Upon returning home, the master asked each servant to give an account of how he had used the money that he was given. While the two who where given the most took the money and invested in it, the other one did nothing.
Based on the parable, it wasn’t about how much each servant was given but how well the servant tended to what he had. Two out of the three servants invested the money, while the other servant did absolutely nothing with what he was given. Which servant are you?
The Parable of the Talents ultimately illustrates what the Kingdom of Heaven is like. As His servants, we are on a mission to use what He has given us to build His Kingdom, and when He comes back, we will have to given an account for how we’ve spent what He has given us here on earth. Because of that, it’s important that you have a solid understanding of the areas of stewardship.
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Just because we are called to live a missional life, doesn’t mean that we all have to go out there and quit our jobs so we can serve God. While for some people that may mean a switch in profession, for others that may mean learning how to serve God right where they are, daily working unto him wholeheartedly and enthusiastically.
I believe that people underestimate the importance of stewarding their time. Like money, time can be spent, but unlike money, you can’t get it back. How you spend your time directly relates to living a purposeful life. It shows what is important to you. In order to make sure that you’re making the most out of every opportunity, make sure that you learn how to master your time.
Money is one of the resources that God gives us to help us carry out our God-given purpose. It shouldn’t be spent foolishly. Learn the art of delayed gratification and spend beneath your means. You can start being a good steward over your finances by giving the first 10% of your income back to Him (Deuteronomy 14:22-29). You can be sure that when you entrust God with your money, He will pour out great financial blessings into your life (Malachi 3:10-11).
The spiritual gifts are given to each of us by the Holy Spirit, and they are to be used to serve and minister to the needs of others (See 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12:6-8, and 1 Peter 4:10,11). The Holy Spirit decides which gifts each of us should have, and it’s our responsibility to use them with all of our strength and energy. Our gifts aren’t given to us for our own entertainment, so it’s important that we identify them and use them for His glory.
There are two relationships that take precedence over our relationship with ourselves and that is our relationship with God and our relationships with others. These are the relationships that we need to steward. Mark 12:29-31 tells us that the greatest commandment is to love God with all of our hearts, souls, minds, and strength, and as equally important, we must love others as ourselves. If you are intentionally stewarding your relationship with God, it will become easier to steward your relationships with others (1 John 4:20). You can steward your relationship with others by investing your time, money, and energy in them, encouraging them to pursue Christ, and of course by praying for them.
The best way that we can ensure that we’re being a good steward is to take ourselves out of the equation. In the parable, the third servant, who got casted into the darkness, was chastised for being self-centered and lazy. Don’t make excuses for not doing what God has called you to do. If He is truly Lord over your life, you must be willing to follow His instructions. Our life, time, money, gifts, and relationships were never ours to begin with. He is the CEO, we are just the managers. Don’t be like the third servant who ignored, abused, and squandered what he was given. The person who works faithfully and diligently by being a good steward will be rewarded.
In what ways can you make sure that you're being a good steward over what God has given you? Let me know in the comments below.