I was recently listening to a member of my church talk about stewardship. As chairman of my parish council, I am chairman of the church development committee, which includes stewardship. I understand that a dictionary meaning of stewardship is the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care. I also know that stewardship is taking care of what God has blessed you with in the form of time, talent and treasure. Christian stewardship is using God’s gifts as revealed through Jesus Christ and lived out in a variety of ways. Stewardship should be who we are while joyfully giving to help fellow man and putting others before self. It is a way of thinking and acting in a Christian manner.
According to a Stewardship Biblical definition, everything we have in the way of material things belongs to God; we are to manage it for His glory. In Corinthians 9:1-15, it is noted that we will reap as we sow. God wants us to be cheerful givers. Giving should be an act of worship. Many comments by St. Luke in the Bible point out that when we give cheerfully, we sow the seeds for God to return financial blessings to us. Stewardship must be a form of worship rather than a duty or means to have our needs met. God always looks at the heart and soul and judges our motives as well as our deeds. God promises to meet our needs if we trust in Him and truly put Him first in our lives. True acts of stewardship should be a natural part of our lives without thought and as a happy gesture.
As I listened to the stewardship message in church that day, no mention was made concerning asking for money in the form of a transaction. On this day, the stewardship message was that true Christian resource-raising is the act of joyful actions that encourages individual spiritual transformation by helping donors become rich towards God spiritually. The speaker focused on how the entrance of God in his life changed the direction of his life in a positive and permanent way. In Philippians 4:17, The Apostle Paul said “Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account.” The truth is we rent life and material things. Give generously in a Christian spirit and you will be richer than you have ever been in your life.