The theology of the faithful steward is amazingly simple, it is founded on the belief and acknowledgement that God owns it all. It is so clear, so basic to our faith. Yet it is profoundly hard to put its implications into practice. Perhaps that’s because we really don’t believe it. We never pull it down from the theoretical heights of a general faith statement to the tangible reality of the challenges, fears and doubts we are facing today. So I want us to start this journey toward becoming more faithful stewards by grasping this truth with all of our heart and looking around at the world with this perspective as our lens.
Here’s my challenge: from the moment you finish reading this blog, look around you and for whatever you see in every direction declare in your mind, “It’s not mine, it’s Yours.” Look at your computer screen, your office, your house, your car, your motel room, wherever this blog finds you and declare so your heart can hear it that you are working and living in a world that belongs completely to its Creator. But don’t stop there. Look deeper and further. Pull out your wallet or checkbook and declare that every penny you have is His and all of the assets and services it can buy. Do an inventory of your relationships. Friends, colleagues, neighbors, even acquaintances, they are all His. He is the Lord of relationships. Think about your family, your parents, children and your marriage, none of them belong to you, they are all His. Declare it and let your spirit embrace it. Breathe deeply and exhale and declare that the air is His, your lungs are His, your very life is His. Your job is His, your reputation is His and your future is His. Don’t stop until you have named everything in your world, because it is His world first, last and always.
Now you are ready to ask the steward question, “God of all Creation, what would you have me do today as a faithful steward of all that you have entrusted to me from all of this that is yours?” When we start with this question, we take steps on the journey of the faithful steward. But beware, the enemy will be close by whispering in your ear, “Wait, some of this really does belong to you, doesn’t it?” In my next post we will tackle that temptation and the steward’s response.
For now, enjoy the freedom of the heart of the steward who declares with conviction and joy that “the earth is the Lord’s and everything that dwells in it.” Psalm 24:1