Preachers have been preaching on stewardship for decades and decades. I’m not sure that the term clicks very well with most people. Its meaning may be a bit murky in their minds. Yet, it is an excellent term that is rich in meaning and relevance for people of every generation. The principle behind it is vital to the well being of every single person in this world.
Many might think of a steward as a rather lowly servant, but such is not necessarily the case. The idea of stewardship is actually one of responsibility, even management. Basically, a steward is a person who serves in a position of responsibility over the affairs of another person or a group of persons. Those affairs can range from the trivial to matters as weighty as one might imagine.
Certainly, a housekeeper can be seen as a steward over the cleaning and general upkeep of the house. A business manager serves in a position of stewardship as he oversees the business and financial affairs of his employer. A banker is a steward entrusted with the safe keeping of the funds deposited in his bank by his customers and clients.
Police officers and judges are stewards who serve to protect society through upholding the laws of the land. Governmental leadership positions such as mayor, governor and president are positions of stewardship bearing tremendous responsibility. Persons are elected to those offices to serve the general interests and well being of the people at large. A great many such examples of stewardship could be cited.
As Christians we are stewards in a number of capacities. We are stewards of our very lives. God has blessed us with life, and He expects us glorify Him through the way we live (Rom. 12:1; 1 Cor. 6:19-20). We are stewards over the various blessings which God bestows upon us (Jas. 1:17). We should use those blessings wisely, to our benefit and in service to God, thus bringing Him glory (1 Cor. 10:31). As Christian parents we are stewards over the precious children God has placed in our care. We must take care of them, love them and raise them in God’s love (Eph. 6:4).
As Christians we are stewards of the church. We are the “body of Christ” (1 Cor. 12:27). We must present to the world around us the proper image of what God has designed the church to be (1 Tim. 3:15). We must faithfully communicate the saving message of the gospel throughout the world, to all peoples (Mk. 16:15-16; Lk. 24:47).
Perhaps most fundamentally, we are stewards of our eternal souls. We have this time, while in this world, to prepare for eternity. However we use, or misuse, our time here will impact what eternity holds for us (Heb. 9:27). We must not be careless stewards! Let us pray for God’s guidance and wisdom and apply ourselves conscientiously in all of our various roles of stewardship…
Gary L. Hutchens