Stewardship: What is it and Why is it Important?
The following is an excerpt from an article written by MICHAEL GAUTHIER, JANUARY 6, 2014
Stewardship. You’ve heard the word in church, but do you really know what it means? Let’s take a look at this vitally important concept and how to apply it in your life.
The dictionary defines stewardship as:
The position and duties of a steward, a person who acts as the surrogate of another or others, especially by managing property, financial affairs, an estate, etc.
The responsible overseeing and protection of something considered worth caring for and preserving. Humanity is to manage God’s resources in a way that glorifies God. It’s not our money, it’s God’s. Therefore, we are all stewards of the wealth that God has entrusted to us.
Money Only is a Tool
Don’t assume every steward is a good steward. Some stewards look after their own interests, not the interests of their master. A lot of how we view stewardship has to do with how we view money. Is money evil? Is money good?
The straightforward truth is this: money is a tool that can be used for good or bad purposes.
Consider bricks. Yes, bricks. They can be used to build a beautiful building, or they can be used to break windows in an attempt to steal valuable items. Like bricks, money can be used for good or evil. Remember, money is a tool – it’s not inherently good or evil. It’s what we do with money that matters.
Stewardship in the Bible
Stewardship goes back to the very beginning of the Scriptures, when:
The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. – Genesis 2:15 NIV
Picture that. Here’s Adam in the Garden of Eden – a sublime paradise – and God tells Adam to work it and take care of it. In other words, God appointed Adam as a steward of the land that the Lord had made.
Jesus also talked about stewardship:
The LORD answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.” – Luke 12:42-44 NIV
The Bible also shows us that we’re not to love money, but we’re to love God and use money for his purposes:
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. – 1 Timothy 6:10 NIV
God calls us to have the proper perspective on money. It’s not ours, we’re just in control of it because the Lord has entrusted it to us. Remember, nothing you might say you “own,” even your body, is yours:
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; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
– 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV
The Stewardship Mindset
Stewardship extends beyond just tithes and offerings – although those are important, too. We are to be good stewards of all our possessions. Having the stewardship mindset will not only improve your giving, but it’ll affect your spending and day-to-day activities. The stewardship mindset is one that recognizes that you don’t really own anything, you’re simply managing it for a certain period of time.
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