Stewardship can be a difficult subject in church circles. Pastor’s struggle to preach on the topic of stewardship because sermons focusing on stewardship can be seen as a money grab. Unfortunately, people frequently limit the discussion of stewardship to money. That is difficult because talking about how people use their money makes folks uncomfortable. People tend to see the use of their money as an intensely personal thing. Folks don’t like it when other people tell them how to spend their money, how much money they should give, or that their relationship with money might be unhealthy.
Thankfully, stewardship isn’t totally about money. In fact, I believe that money is only a small part of our call to be good stewards of the resources that God has blessed us with. The Bible has a lot to say about money. However, there are other areas of our lives that we must manage as citizens of the Kingdom of God. With that in mind, I would like to highlight a few areas of stewardship that aren’t highlighted as frequently as they should be in discussions surrounding this topic. Let’s begin with a couple of verses for consideration as we look at a few different areas of stewardship that extend beyond our checkbooks.
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” – Colossians 3:23-24
According to Paul, every area of our lives is subject to the Lordship of Jesus. That means every area of our lives needs to come under his reign. If that is true, then our work, leisure, money, families, homes, and friendships fall into the category of his lordship. All of these topics are worthy of discussion in the realm of stewardship. However, I want to address four specific areas of our lives that should be reflected upon when it comes to stewardship.
A lot of energy is dedicated to the value of money. We all realize it’s importance. Those folks that don’t have money certainly feel the weight of not having it. Those that have money have a whole different set of problems than those without it. Money is valuable, but it isn’t the only thing that we have that has value.
I would argue that in our current cultural context, time is becoming a more valuable commodity than money. I don’t know of any person that isn’t constantly fighting with their calendar. Busyness is the status quo for most of us. It is difficult to find the time to do everything we want and need to do. I think we all feel like we could use a little more time in our day. We are never going to get more time so we need to figure out how to use the time we have more efficiently.
We need to learn to be good stewards of the time we are blessed with. Obviously, this is easier said than done. If we don’t learn to do this well, then many of us will continue to feel like we are drowning in their own busyness. We must choose to use our time wisely. We need to make sure our use of time honors God and His Kingdom.
The Bible tells us that followers of Jesus have been granted spiritual gifts. To learn more about the spiritual gifts, check out Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4. If we are Christians, then we have these gifts to offer and use. Are you stewarding your gifts well? Do you use the gifts granted to you for the furtherance of God’s Kingdom?
This is one of the most difficult areas of self-control and stewardship for me personally. Paul asks a poignant question in 1 Corinthians 6:19. “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own”. It is hard to take good care of ourselves. Our schedules make it difficult to eat well and to get the exercise we need. God wants us to be good stewards of the body he has given to us. I’m not good at this at all, but I need to better.
Human beings are created in the image of God which, in part, means that we are to be creators as well. We all have the capacity to create. Some people are poets, painters, gardeners, architects, storytellers, preachers, teachers, and so on. We are all born with different talents, but we all have the ability to create beautiful and meaningful things. We must be good stewards of our creativity and use it for the kingdom. I don’t think we consider our creativity when it comes to honoring God and stewardship. That is unfortunate because the church is struggling in a lot of different areas right now. We need creative people with creative, Holy Spirit driven solutions to difficult and nuanced problems.
What other areas of your life can you be a good steward?