We live in a “more” world. Whether it’s television commercials, social media or jobs, or even friends and family, we are all likely to encounter someone who says, “go ahead, you deserve it” or “I deserve more.” It’s not likely that we will hear “why do you deserve more” or “actually are you prepared for increase.” We tend to avoid that question because it may bring up challenges that we face in good stewardship of the things we have or currently are responsible for.
The definition of stewardship is the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care. We are often striving for more, it’s an “I” appetite–that promotion, new car, new home, bigger yard, more money, more, more, more. But is our “I’s” bigger than our need? Or more, importantly, is our “want” justified when we consider how we are managing what God has entrusted to our care? Have we exercised good stewardship over what we have inherited, consumed or acquired?
Money and promotion are great example. Seems like most everyone wants either a promotion or more money. But are weproperly managing the money or the current job role that we currently occupy? Sometimes the desire for more causes the abandonment of good stewardship. Are we intentional about our spending and savings? Are we intentional about our job? Do we purchase quality rather than popular brands? How do we account for our time on the job? These are all questions that lead to good stewardship.
Good stewardship is also found in the little things. Changing the oil. Rotating the tires. Keeping our vehicles maintained, clean and in good working order. My 1992 Ford F-350 power stroked diesel pickup truck has 98,822 miles on it. It looks brand new. Over the past 30 years, it has been Tommi and my good stewardship that has kept that truck on the road. Our stewardship remains very intentional about the little things, and that truck has continued to serve me well. It is a joy.
As a followers of Christ, there are several ways our stewardship, though not perfect, is activated. First, giving back to God who has blessed us and our family in both the good times and the challenging stretches. Tommi and I are also very disciplined—well, Tommi is disciplined–in our spending decisions. Our focus is not on accumulation of “things,” but rather preserving, giving back and serving. The Bible says we reap what we sow. And that underscores the value of good stewardship.
How we manage and care for the what has been entrusted to us will reflect our values. Stewardship is learned by what we see practiced and valued. It reflects our long-term thinking both professionally and personally. Stewardship determines our legacy and impacts our children and the generations to come. Proverbs 13:22 (KJV) says, “A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children.” It all starts with good stewardship. Let’s ask ourselves, “Have I been a good steward of what I have today? Why do I want more?” In the answers to ourselves, we can seek the responsibility of good stewardship.