“Although God gives us ‘all things richly to enjoy,’ nothing is ours. Nothing really belongs to us,” writes Author Bill Peel, in his book What God Does When Men Lead: The Power and Potential of Regular Guys. “God owns everything; we’re responsible for how we treat it and what we do with it. While we complain about our rights here on earth, the Bible constantly asks, What about your responsibilities? Owners have rights; stewards have responsibilities.”
We’re all stewards, and responsible stewardship is the duty of every human being. When God created us, He designed and built each one of us for the responsibilities of stewardship. This means being responsible is innate in us. It is embedded in our DNA. We can run away like the Prophet Jonah; it will only be an exercise in futility. God also equipped us with talents and abilities to more than enable us to be good, responsible stewards; we have no excuse.
St. Peter tells us: “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.” (2 Pet. 1:3)
Stewardship, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is “the conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.”
Now we ask ourselves: What have we been entrusted with? What are we responsible for? Everything! As stewards, we do the following:
· we conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of Christ’s Name;
· we supervise others with the humility of Christ (not lording over them); and
· we manage our environment with great care and joy.
Psalm 113:5–9 gives us some beautiful insights on how we should go about being responsible stewards. Verses 5–6 shares that even if we are ‘supervisors,’ we know both the little details and the big picture; we can do the lowliest tasks like cleaning the bathroom or making up our bed, and we can also do the ‘high-thinking’ tasks like managing a marketing campaign. Verses 7–8 teaches us about mindfulness. We are mindful of those around us who need our joy and encouragement, not our whining and complaining. We’re not selfish; we practice mentoring by sharing what we know, so everyone learns and grows. Verse 9 shows us that when people around us feel they are part of a family, growing and learning as active, contributing members, the entire organization is productive.
Responsible stewardship fulfills us as human beings. It brings us—and God—great joy. (Prov. 8:30–31)