When you hear the word steward or rather stewardship what probably and mostly comes into your mind is the aspect of taking good care of something, maybe that which has been entrusted to you. The idea of stewardship is itself expansive. It covers every area of life from finances, time, career, relationships, people, etc. Basically, everything entrusted to us by God.
What does stewardship mean? How practical is stewardship in our daily lives? The field of stewardship is really wide and therefore we will not be able to cover the whole aspect. Stewardship is not just for leaders as most think but it applies to everyone else.
Stewardship can basically be defined as management of what God has given us to His glory and the edification of others and ourselves too. From this definition three important and very key components are evident here; God, the people around you and yourself. All these three are the recipient of your stewardship as a person in this case.
What does it mean to be a good steward? It is trivial that if you desire to be a good steward of what has been entrusted to you, then you need to have some attributes that will make someone refer to you as a good steward. It is important to note and remember that God’s judgment upon us will be inclusive and based on how we managed what He gave us.
1. Good stewardship requires hard work. Talking generally of management it is not an easy thing for sure. It requires deliberate effort, commitment to excellence and determination as far as attaining the end goal is concerned. As a good steward, you will be required to move out of your comfort zone just to ensure that you offer your very best to the three components that I mentioned earlier when defining stewardship.
Take a minute and think about leadership and giving in a church in regard to stewardship. Making suggestions or complaints isn’t stewardship at all. Carrying out a task based on those suggestions, solving problems that cause the complaints – that’s Stewardship. Worrying about money isn’t stewardship — it’s a sign of lack of faith, eyes on this world, not Jesus. Giving significantly and regularly — that’s stewardship. This is where the idea of giving fits.
2. Good stewardship requires excellence. Have you ever thought of the special talent or gift that God gave you? If yes, kudos to you, if no just take some few seconds to think about them. How do you use them? Do you focus on excelling in them or you’re just there doing nothing? As stewards of God’s talents and gifts we need to be aware of the fact that whatever we do, we must do it well — from the most insignificant to the most important. People in the Church don’t always see, or have the authority to judge and certainly no power to reward us for what we do — but God does see, He can judge. He actually judges; He will reward and punish us based on our stewardship of His talents. Do it right the first time and don’t cheap out, be the best for the Master- who is Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 4:10 says, “Based on the gift each one has received, use it to serve others, as good managers of the varied grace of God.”
3. Good stewardship involves risk. Good stewardship is not just hoarding and counting resources. Some see stewardship as accounting principles only where you keep track of every record of the transactions. Good stewardship is doing something constructive with what you have. In the parable of the talents, we see that servants had to work, risk losing talents in order to make a profit. It involves wise investment in the Lord’s work. After all, it is His resources. He has lots of resources in store for us. It is just upon you to choose whether to go for them or not.
Now that you have at least had a test of what it takes to be a good steward it is now a high time that you make a point of becoming one if you have never been one. And if you have been faithful in protecting what has been entrusted to you then congratulations, but also remember you are not to relax at all. You still got a long journey ahead of thee to be where God wants you to be.
In conclusion, one thing I know is that it is not easy but it is possible. You can become one if you are not. You can grow to become the best version of a steward you’ve always admired to be. I wish you all the best as you set out to become the responsible steward that God wants you to be.