I first began to understand the true concept of stewardship when I worked in the trust department of a local bank. A trustee is responsible for carrying out the wishes and direction of the owner of the assets and resources that have been placed in the trust. The trustee does not own those assets and resources; he is simply to manage them based on the wishes and direction of the owner.
Psalm 24:1 says:
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.”
Everything that we have is the Lord’s and we are stewards (trustees) of his resources. So what does that mean? First of all we have to acknowledge that what we have is not ours, including our time, money, abilities, wisdom and relationships. We have been entrusted with the care and management of what we have been given but it is not ours. We may think that by our own ability we have acquired what we have. Deuteronomy 8:18 reminds us to:
“Remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth”.
As a steward, we are responsible to manage those resources according to God’s desires and instruction. Bill Peel at The High Calling writes “Although God gives us ‘all things to enjoy,’ nothing is ours. Nothing really belongs to us. God owns everything; we’re responsible for how we treat it and what we do with it. Owners have rights; stewards have responsibilities.”
We are responsible for managing what has been entrusted to us to bring glory and honor to God! How are you managing your time, money, abilities, wisdom and relationships to bring glory and honor to God?
As a steward, we are accountable for how we manage what has been given us. Many times in the financial world, trustees will have to give an accounting to a court of law to show that they honored the wishes and directions of the owner and that they managed those assets prudently. As stewards of God’s resources we will give an account of how we managed His assets. So how do you manage the free time that you have? The money that you have? The abilities you have been given? The relationships you have been entrusted with?
If we are faithful in fulfilling our role of steward, we are promised a reward. In Colossians 3:23-24 we are told “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.”
Manage what you have for the glory of the Lord!