FAITH & REFLECTION — Last week I mentioned that most New Year’s resolutions are broken within days, even hours. However, the problem lies not with the resolutions, but with our commitment, or lack thereof, in keeping them. Two passages of Scripture were submitted for your consideration. Romans 12:1, which instructs us to give ourselves to God and Psalm 90:12, which tells us that we should spend our days wisely.
Whole life stewardship properly addresses these areas. Whole life stewardship simply means that one submits their entire life to God as a package deal, rather than parts or portions. Our lives can be described and delineated in different ways, but I see, four major divisions; time, talent, treasure and truth.
All four of these are gifts from God. For example, every day is a gift (though admittedly they come packaged quite differently) and time is given to us in daily increments. It is our privilege to give the time of our lives back to Him and use it in such a way that He is honored and others are helped.
In similar fashion, our natural talents and spiritual abilities, our monetary gain and the sharing of what we know to be true; all should be recognized as gifts from God, and then employed and deployed in a God glorifying selfless fashion (the selfless part can be pretty challenging).
In case the foregoing sounds as if it falls somewhere between pseudo-spiritual and simply impractical, consider the words of CS Lewis in Mere Christianity. He wrote, “Every faculty you have, your power of thinking or of moving your limbs from moment to moment, is given you by God. If you devoted every moment of your whole life exclusively to His service, you could not give Him anything that was not in a sense His own already.” Lewis’ statement properly summarizes what whole life stewardship is all about. I am not the owner of anything, but the steward or manager of all that He has given me.
Biblical stewardship recognizes God as the owner and makes us responsible to properly manage that which He has provided. And with responsibility comes accountability. However, it is not at all drab and dutiful, because so much of what He has given is delightful and beautiful! Graciously provided to us for our enjoyment.
I’ve left the best part for the last…the reward principle of stewardship. Colossians 3:23,24 says. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.”
Does it work? Yes, because God works! Perhaps you could try this approach in 2016…you could start by talking to Him about it.