Chad Garmon, Executive Director of Christian Initiatives & Community Partnerships
What do you think when you hear the word, “stewardship?”
Many times, this word is associated with donation requests, but the concept of stewardship goes much, much deeper than that. A steward is someone who manages the possessions of another. We are all God’s stewards, managing the resources, abilities and opportunities that He has entrusted to our care.
Jesus teaches a valuable lesson on stewardship in the parable of talents (Matthew 25:14-30). In the parable, a man of great wealth goes on a trip. Before he leaves, the wealthy man calls three servants together and distributes his talents (i.e. large units of money, roughly equivalent to $1,000). The first servant receives five talents, the second servant receives two talents and the third servant receives one talent.
While the wealthy man is away, the first two servants take great care of the gifts, and they grow. In fact, the gifts double in size! However, the third servant hides his gift in the ground and earns nothing. He doesn’t lose it, but he doesn’t take the time to nurture it, either. When the wealthy man returns, he is pleased with the two servants who nurtured and grew their gifts, calling them “faithful.” He punishes the third servant, who did nothing with his gift.
This parable’s deeper meaning extends far beyond finances. God gives us all unique sets of gifts in the form of skills, abilities, relationships, careers, education, experiences and more. Our mission is to invest in our lives and do what we can with what we have been given.
As we begin the new year, let’s think about the many gifts in our lives. Remember that gifts come in many forms. These are the areas we have stewardship over. We have been called to care for:
- Our time
- Our bodies
- Our planet
- Our knowledge
- Our faith
- Our relationships
All of these areas require diligent attention. Stewardship is a daily task. What can you do in 2019 to be a good steward for God?