How would you define stewardship? What does it mean to be a good steward – of our finances, our health, our resources, our time? The list could on.
Truthfully, for everything God has given us (which, by the way, is everything), He has entrusted us to be good stewards of. So what does that look like?
Well, with finances being one of the major areas of stewardship, we asked a number of financial experts (some of whom are Medi-Share members) we met at FinCon to explain what stewardship means to them. Perhaps you will gain a new perspective on this spiritual discipline after reading these thoughtful responses.
“For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.” Luke 12:48b
“Stewardship means placing God at the center of my life and puts me in a posture that acknowledges every good and perfect gift is from Him. He's made me the recipient of this goodness and he's entrusted me with it. I, therefore, want to honor Him with my use of those gifts. He is the first giver, allowing me to give, too.” – Philip Taylor, PTMoney.com
"Stewardship is humility. Recognizing that all gifts, resources, blessings, challenges and all things are not yours but rather a great gift you've been blessed to manage. For one reason and one reason only: so you can use your unique gifts to serve God, serve others, and live out your unique calling." – Scott Maderer, Inspired Stewardship
“Stewardship means giving of myself and expecting nothing in return. When we give using the gifts granted to us by God, we are serving Him and doing as He wants. The more we give of ourselves, the more we are rewarded through the blessings we receive.” – Tracie Fobes, The Penny Pinchin’ Mom
“Stewardship is using the resources we have been given to help and bless others; sharing each other’s burdens and caring for those in need.” – Kelly Smith, Freedom in a Budget
"As a Christian, I believe it is my responsibility to care for the things which God has blessed me with (e.g. my children, my health, my finances, etc.). When it comes to money specifically, being a good steward means that I should try to manage my money and my credit responsibly. Doing so allows me the ability to provide for the family God has given me and, together, it allows us opportunities to be a blessing to others. Have I always succeeded in the goal of being a good financial steward? No. I am also sure that I will never achieve perfection. However, by striving to be a good steward I am able to refocus on what really matters when I do mess up and I enjoy teaching others how to do the same." – Michelle Black, Credit Expert, HerCreditMatters.com and CreditWriter.com
“To me, stewardship = accountability. Owners only have to answer to themselves for how well they manage their resources. However, as stewards, we are dealing with someone else's resources: namely, God's. This raises the stakes and makes neglect of our bodies, time, and wealth completely unacceptable. ‘You are not your own, for you are bought with a price...’ (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)” – Clint Proctor, Wallet Wise Guy.
“Stewardship means taking care of the Earth that was divinely created, taking care of ourselves whom God created intentionally, and taking care of each other throughout all circumstances.” – Alli Owen, OwenYourFurture
“To me, stewardship is having the opportunity to show God how much I love Him by taking good care of the resources He’s given me. Saving money, stretching each dollar, and growing my investments are all ways I let God know I’m thankful for each blessing. Being a good and conscious steward allows me to remember that God is my source and that He provides for me. When I give my tithes and bless people in other ways, then I’m showing God’s love in a real and tangible way here on earth.” – Ericka Young, Tailor Made Budgets
"To me, stewardship hits home when I think about the blessings I have in my life. My family, my health, and my marriage ... I feel a duty to take care of these incredibly important aspects of my life, both financially and emotionally." – Andy Hill, MarriageKidsandMoney.com
“I believe it is our responsibility to use our passion, talents, and skills to help change people’s lives and businesses for the better.” – Sylvia Inks, http://www.smifinancialcoaching.com
“His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’” Matthew 25:21
In this season of thankfulness and giving – sometimes, even, a season of excess – let us all remember Who blesses us with all that we have. Our Provider, the living God who showed us what true sacrifice is when He sent His Son to die for us, His creation. May we never take for granted all that He’s given us, and remember to care for and be generous with what He has entrusted us with.