“If you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else.” ~ Toni Morrison
There are many people in life who do not understand the faith/religious concept of stewardship. As soon as they hear the word, they generally think or say, “How much do you want?” because they equate stewardship with giving money to a cause. Sadly, that thought has been reinforced by many churches that have run “stewardship campaigns” with the bottom line being the dollar bill.
Stewardship, in its purest form, is an invitation to God’s people to open their minds and hearts to the gifts that have been given to them by God. Once they identify their many gifts, their many blessings, they are asked to consider the question, “What does God want me to do with these gifts?” To a Christian, we believe that God never gives us a gift solely for our own use. God gives us gifts so that we can benefit others.
When we identify our gifts and blessings and ask ourselves what God wants us to do with them, we need to follow our hearts. God may be directing us to give something monetarily. God might be directing us to share a special talent by teaching someone else how to use their gifts. God might be directing us to share the love He has given to us by visiting the homebound, the elderly, or the infirm.
If we have something, chances are really good that we have been given it so that we could give it to someone else. Our gifts are not so much given to us as entrusted to us. Sure, we might benefit and benefit greatly from our gifts. However, we should also ensure that others receive as well.
Those who live a stewardship way of life will tell you the extra bonus that people receive when they give freely: they receive more and their lives are incredibly enriched with happiness. There is a special feeling knowing that you have been able to help someone else. No one can take that joy away from you.
Do you want to attempt to practice stewardship today? I’m not asking for your money. That’s not the bottom line. I’m just asking you to do two things: identify your many gifts/blessings/talents and then ask yourself the question, “What does God want me to do with these?”
FAITH ACTION: Whatever blessing God has given to you, make sure to share it today with another.