“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?”Luke 16:10-12
More often than not, when we think of worldly possessions, we think of negative distractions from our greater calling as Christians. And while this is not entirely without merit, it is also important to remember that they are gifts from God and need to be managed diligently and honestly.
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So what role does the Christian call to stewardship play today? And in a day and age where greed, corruption, and unhealthy competition seem to thrive, is there a way for us to obey the call?
It’s Not Always about the Money
For most people, the first thing that comes to mind when we think of stewardship is money and physical possessions. However, there is so much more to this form of ministry that is our duty. In fact, we are called to be a steward of pretty much anything that God has given us. For some perspective, here are three types of wealth that we can use in our ministry and examples of how something simple can go a long way toward spreading the gospel.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”Ecclesiastes 3:3
Time is probably the most precious and fickle of all the gifts that God gave us. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most poorly managed. A recent survey revealed that we spend about 143 to 155 minutes every day online, either on our phones or computers.
That is about two to three hours out of every day that we can use for other, more worthwhile causes.
Instead of falling into this trap, set aside one extra hour to read the Bible or volunteer at a local charity. It is generally a more rewarding and wholesome use of the gift of time that God has bestowed upon you.
You may not have discovered your special gift or talent yet, but you definitely have one. Some gifts are straightforward, coming in the form of traditional skills like sports, music, art, and even literary prowess.
However, these are not the only talents out there.
You need to take time to commune with God and search your soul to figure out in what areas you are truly special. Once you do, it is your prerogative to use these talents to serve God.
Maybe you are a natural hostess, in which case you might consider hosting your prayer group more often. It could be that you make really great pastries, which you could bring to church cookouts or donate to soup kitchens.
There is literally no talent too big or small to make a difference in the world.
This is the most commonly referred to of gifts when thinking about stewardship as a Christian. Today, your calling is not just to use your money and other physical possessions to serve God—although this is pretty awesome, and if you are already doing it, you should by all means continue to do so.
Stewardship of treasure and worldly possessions in this day and age is just as much about avoiding shrewdness. And, boy, is it hard not to fall into shady ways in an attempt to get that extra coin in your purse.
After all is said and done, it is better to serve God and the gospel with little money earned honestly than it is to boast of great service with dirty money.
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Go Forth and Use Your Gifts to Make God Proud
Stewardship today can be summarized as proper use of your time, acknowledging and using your talents, and staying on the straight and narrow as you fend for yourself. It will no doubt be hard with all the temptations around.
However, it is a journey that God has not only set you on but will also walk with you. You just need to ask for help when you fall off the path now and then.