“Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen,” 1 Peter 4:9-11, KJV.
One definition of the word steward is someone who manages property or other affairs for someone else. It also happens to be the first definition in the dictionary I used which applies directly to the subject at hand. A good steward cares for what has been entrusted to him. What are some of the things God has entrusted to us?
God has entrusted to us the very thing we need to exist as a human in this world, a body. We didn’t give ourselves a body; we cannot manufacture a body like God has. Sure there are prosthetic limbs made to help those either born with deficiencies or who may have been in an accident, but I’m speaking of the care that we take of the very thing that was with us when we were born and the very thing that will be there as we die.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service,” Romans 12:1, KJV. This in itself is stewardship. We are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice—holy (set apart for God), acceptable (able to be used by God), which is what we’re expected to do. Our bodies allow us to go out into the world to proclaim the Gospel (Mark 16:15). It allows many of us to travel to various parts of the world ministering in different countries. It is a gift from God that shows us how much we can do here on Earth. It also shows how much the body itself needs care. We must be mindful of the things we place inside of it and the elements in which we subject it to. We must be a good steward.
God has entrusted us with other people. Many have children who you’re responsible for teaching and showing the way. Others have parents who rely on the service of their child for every morsel of food that’s placed in their mouths. Some care for siblings who don’t know how to care for themselves. Within this we may too be entrusted with certain relationships that aren’t flesh and blood associations. Consider the coworker who depends on you to share God with them. Or the gas store attendant who hasn’t heard a kind word all day. Think about the patron standing across the street that everyone ignores because there are places to go and other things to do. Do we understand what a simple “hello” or a gentle smile would do for somebody’s self esteem? We must be a good steward.
God has entrusted to us the very dollars we hold in our hands. Many will say and have already said, “This is my money, I worked for it.” Or, “Jesus didn’t sign my check; I put in my forty hours for this.” Yet again, “I can’t see giving that much money to a church.” My question is, “How much is too much?” Would we have the same attitude if God treated us that way? He has given us so much, yet we return so very little and wonder why we can’t make ends meet at the end of the month. But miraculously, we find some “free money” for lottery tickets or a play that’s coming to town. Can I say that God does not want nor need your money; He desires your trust in Him.
“Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways,” Haggai 1:5-7, KJV.
Faithfulness in service is what God makes plain in His word. If we’re faithful over a few things, He’ll make us a ruler over many. But we must show ourselves worthy of such an honor. If we can’t take care of the little that’s given, how can we expect God to bless us with the great abundance many of us believe Him for?
“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?” Luke 16:10-11, KJV.
Additional Reference: Matthew 25:21