What is a steward? Most people will say a steward is a manager.
That is correct, but it is only half right. A steward is indeed a manager, but he is a manager of what does not belong to him. Someone else is the owner, and the steward manages the owner’s property on the owner’s behalf.
We are God’s stewards. Our stewardship is that God has made us managers of what belongs to Him:
“For we brought nothing into this world, and we cannot take anything out of the world” (1 Tim. 6:7)
Everything that we have and everything that we are comes from God’s fatherly divine goodness and mercy. God is the owner.
This is not only because He created all things; He is also the redeemer. He has redeemed – that is, purchased – and won all things. Therefore, it all belongs to Him.
We are simply managers of everything in this world. Like Joseph in Egypt, we are put in charge of managing what belongs to God. What a privilege.
Think about that for a minute. The all-knowing, all-powerful, all-wise God has asked us to manage his possessions on His behalf here on earth.
And by doing this, He invites us to take part in the allocation of His good gifts. He wants us to give our input and advise Him in where His gifts are to be used. What a privilege indeed.
But what a responsibility!
“Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required” (Luke 12:48b).
We are not the owners. And while He puts us as managers, we are still to do with His property what He wants done with it. That means we need to know what He desires and wills for His property.
How do we know this? How can we know the will and mind of God?
We find the will of God in the Bible. There God tells us what His will is for all of His gifts. He tells us how we are to spend our time and use our talents and treasures. He instructs us in the use of our minds, bodies, and souls.
There is nothing we have that doesn’t belong to Him.
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not
your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:19–20).
God informs us of the big picture, the overarching policy, of how we as His stewards – managers and custodians – are to manage His property.
And that is stewardship. It is simply doing what God wants us to do with what He has given us.
As St. Paul said,
“Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those
who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness” (Rom. 6:13).
So, let’s dive into God’s Word, and listen to what He desires from His stewards.
Grace Lutheran Church -Everett