STEWARDING YOUR STEWARDSHIP
How do you wish to be viewed by other people? People who have achieved titles or prominence often want to be recognized for their achievements. As Christians, how should we be regarded by others? The Apostle Paul gives us an example how he desired to be regarded by others,
Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. (1 Corinthians 4:1)
The word Paul used for servant is literally an under-rower. An under-rower was an oarsman on the bottom level of a trireme. This described an individual who did not know where he was going, but was taking orders from the captain. As believers we may not know where we are going, but we can trust our captain, Jesus Christ. Paul also described believers as stewards.
In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy. (1 Corinthians 4:2)
The word steward literally means a house manager. A steward is one who manages the property or affairs of another as they are not the owners. How does the Bible describe the characteristics of a faithful steward?
- Faithful stewards recognize that God owns everything and we are to manage everything for His glory. A steward is responsible, but owns nothing himself.
- Faithful stewards demonstrate a trustworthy character. When Joseph worked in Potiphor’s house, he did not succumb to the temptations that he encountered but he demonstrated fidelity to his master.
- Faithful stewards are responsible for their performance. Stewards are in charge of the whole administration of the house or the estate. They oversee the staff, manage the resources, and seek the welfare of their master. Paul refers to overseers or elders as God’s stewards.
- Faithful stewards seek to use their gifts, talents, and abilities for the benefit of their master.
- Faithful stewards are trustworthy. Paul identified this as a distinguishing characteristic of a steward as they must be faithful to their charge.
There is an incredible example of faithfulness as demonstrated by a Roman soldier in Pompeii when Mt. Vesuvius erupted. Amidst the chaos of people running for safety, a Roman soldier maintained his post. The lone sentinel chose death rather than dishonor as he was faithful to his charge. He proved to be faithful unto death and seventeen centuries later they found his skeleton standing erect at his post and his fingers still holding his spear.
Will God find you as a faithful steward? The Moravian Covenant for Christian Living ,Article 10, provides a cogent description of Christian stewardship, “We deem it a sacred responsibility and genuine opportunity to be faithful stewards of all God has entrusted to us: our time, our talents, and our financial resources. We view all of life as a sacred trust to be used wisely.” May your life reflect a sacred trust for God’s glory as you hear Jesus’ encouraging words, “Well done God and faithful servant.”
Biblical wisdom incorporates humility and a healthy dose of dependence upon God. Wisdom is an essential quality of life for it can keep you from getting into situations where you need it.