Paul Queen reminded us in a recent blog that because of God’s unchanging faithfulness, we can trust him. Luke chapter sixteen turns this thought around and asks the question, “Can he trust us?”
There is a theme throughout the Bible of settling accounts, of being responsible for what we have been given.
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?
Luke 16: 10-11
It is written: “‘As surely as I live,” says the Lord, “every knee will bow before every tongue will confess to God.’” So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God” (Romans 14:1-12).
The idea here is that God entrusts us with things to put to work. From God’s perspective, it is a matter of trust; from our perspective, it is a matter of stewardship.
We do not use the word ‘steward’ much these days, but a steward is simply a manager. It is a person put in charge of something that belongs to someone else. The take away point is that I am not my own – my stuff is not mine. God owns it all – He gives some of it to me to faithfully steward for His purposes.
This is counter to our independent, self-realized American dream, consumer-driven, he-who-dies-with-the-biggest-toys-wins culture.
It is a good discipline to occasionally take stock of what we have been given and ask the Lord, “What do you want me to do with this?” Sometimes the answer is not profound: “Love your wife… Do the last thing I told you. … Be faithful and wait for further instructions.” Other times it is a totally different mindset – begin to do things you were not doing (or quit doing things you were doing.)
Maybe you are thinking, “Well, I really don’t have that much to be steward over.” Here is a short list of things to consider. All of us have most or all of the following to be steward over:
- money (tithing, giving, helping those in need)
- possessions (using them for God, sharing them)
- spouse (am I loving/respecting as I ought to?)
- children (am I raising them in the fear and admonition of the Lord?)
- spiritual gifts
- witness for Christ
- position of influence
- body (temple care/sexual purity)
- knowledge (of scripture, of ethics)
If we really believed in our hearts that we will stand before Jesus Christ on the great and terrible day of judgment and give account for all we have been given, this thought would surely alter the way we live our lives day by day.
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ (1 Peter 4:9-11).