40 Days of Discipline

40 Days of Discipline: Day 30 – Stewardship

5 Comments

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace. (1 Peter 4:10)

 

The comments yesterday related to the Discipline of Service were again superlative.   Thanks to all who commented!  Please be reminded that this week we will be focusing on a different Discipline each day.  Today Libby will address the Discipline of Stewardship.   As a reminder, you will play the part of Libby and share your thoughts on the challenges people are facing.  Libby is not expected to be an expert.  Rather, Libby simply shares from personal and practical experiences.   So, please feel free to chime in even if you have questions yourself.  Also, even if you don’t have the time to share, think about how you have addressed the challenge in your life or how you would address it in the life of a loved one.

Please review the Bible passage above and Heather’s challenge below.

 

Dear Libby,

I struggle with the Discipline of Stewardship.  First, I tend to associate this Discipline with money, which I know is too narrow a definition.  Second, I hesitate to give my hard-earned money to religious institutions because of all the scandals.  Third, it is very easy to say everything I have is a gift from God, but translating that into the way I live is another matter.  You can probably tell that this is not one of my strong areas.  How do you put this Discipline into practice?  As always your practical advice and the biblical basis for the advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

Yours expectantly,

Heather

 

Today’s Question:

What thoughts would you like to share with Heather?

5 thoughts on “40 Days of Discipline: Day 30 – Stewardship

  1. Hi Heather, The dicitonary defines stewardship, as the way in which someone organizes and takes care of something. So a steward is someone who is entrusted with things that don’t belong to them, to oversees or take care of. Psalm 24 says “The earth is the Lords and everything in it, the world and they that live in it.”
    God placed Adam and Eve in the garden to be stewards. God has entrusted us with much, gifts and talents, money, time, the gospel—for the sake of God’s purposes in the world. So though He gives us all things to enjoy they really aren’t ours, but we’re responsible for how we treat them and what we do with these things.
    Remember the parable of the talents, when the Lord came back he wanted to know what his servants had done with the talents. The interesting thing in that parable was the servants did or didn’t (as one servant didn’t do anything with) do what they wanted to, then they had to give an account.
    God has specific guidelines for us as stewards (As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace. (1 Peter 4:10), and we many times use excuses like giving my time or hard worked money to an institution that has scandal associated with it, to write of all stewardship.
    One day we’ll also have to give an account as stewards.
    Colossians 3:23-24 Paul writes:
    Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
    In the parable the servants were rewarded for what they did as stewards. Sometimes we receive rewards from others for what we do, however the most important reward comes for the Lord.

  2. Thank you for your letter. The phrase in your letter ‘my hard earned money’ set off alarm bells and I think it goes to the heart of the issue – adopting the correct Christian perspective towards money. A correct view of money is essential –- it liberates us to be just and righteous stewards, as we are called to be. A corrupt view of money is a significant obstacle to the practice of Christianity (see Matthew 19:20-24). We’ve all heard the bible verse the love of money is the root of all evil (see 1 Timothy 6:10). Money is such a potent worldly resource that it can corrupt the Christian turning his heart from God, if not properly estimated. Therefore I am keen to address the issue. I hope I can demonstrate a proper regard of money and its use thereof by highlighting the following scripture.

    I call your attention to the parable of the Unjust Steward found in Luke 16:1-13. In it Jesus tells the story of the unjust steward and the equally wicked master. The unjust steward had authority over all his master’s resources. This requires the utmost level of trust in the steward. One day the master discovered that the unjust steward was mismanaging his affairs and informed him that he will be fired. The unjust steward then put a plan into action to curry favor with his master’s debtors so they’ll give him a place to stay once his master puts him out. Behind his master’s back, he gave deep discounts to his master’s debtors. When his master discovered what the unjust steward had done, he commended him for his shrewdness. Jesus ended the story saying ‘For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light’

    Whatever did Jesus mean by this? In the application of the story, Jesus used this parable to contrast the shrewdness of unbelievers in the things of this world to believers’ lack of savvy of how things work in the kingdom to come. The unjust steward, once he knew he was going to be out of a job, ingratiated himself to his master’s customers by cheating his master (who more than likely was cheating his own customers), thereby providing means and assurances for his own future security and well being. Drawing parallels, Jesus encourages believers to be generous with their wealth thereby storing up for themselves great treasures in heaven (see also Matthew 6:20) Jesus conveys the message in verse 10-13 if believers cannot be entrusted to manage money (unrighteous mammon) according to HIS will, we cannot be entrusted with true riches – the rewards of heaven. He adamantly puts it – we cannot serve both God and money. We can avoid this snare therefore by following Jesus’ exhortation to give generously, as much as the need and occasion arise.

    A number of important points are raised in this scripture with respect to money:

    1. Money is nothing compared to the riches and rewards of heaven
    2. We have been entrusted with money, therefore we ought to be good stewards of it.
    3. If we will cheat God by withholding money from his means and purposes then He is not going to entrust us with the things of the kingdom.
    4. If we are greedy we are not fit to serve God.

    Therefore my friend I hope the above helps guide you in your dealings. May God guide you continually.

    Yours in Christ,
    Libby

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s