The term stewardship is tossed around like a buzzword. Because it is used so often, the word’s true meaning has lost a lot of its relevance. Let’s look at Merriam Webster’s definition of stewardship:
1. the office, duties, and obligations of a steward
2. the conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially: the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.
Stewardship is one of the most common themes in the Bible. I refer to stewardship as being a faithful manager of the time, skills, and financial resources that God has provided you. How you manage these three elements of your life affects every other area. When you apply God’s principles regarding stewardship, you will begin to enjoy freedom and fulfillment that can be found nowhere other than in Christ.
What we possess is not ours. The Bible tells us God created everything between heaven and earth. He owns everything. We are responsible for managing our lives, our money, and our possessions on God’s behalf. Because everything we possess is ultimately His, we are essentially God’s managers. Many believe that only the first 10 percent belongs to God (a tithe), but in reality, He owns the other 90 percent as well. He graciously loans us resources based on our ability to manage. Will you become a faithful manager?
The parable of the talents (see Matthew 25:14-30) illustrates the power of being a faithful manager. With each level of responsibility, the amounts given to the servants differed, but each was entrusted with something. The rewards were not based on the amounts given, but rather on the increase that resulted from the amount given. God gives you responsibility based on what you can handle. You have been given something that is important to God; you can please Him through being faithful with what He has provided and called you to do.
Being a faithful manager encompasses more than money. It involves management of every single area of our daily lives. Do you believe you or God is the owner of everything? Your belief is illustrated each time you make a decision. Are you in control or is God? Either we attempt to take God out of the picture (the reason for the fall of Adam in the garden), or we seek to move closer to God (the triumph of Jesus).