Dimensions of Stewardship
Stewardship is one of the predominant themes of the Bible, and yet it is often misunderstood or minimized in discussions regarding the Christian life. Holy Scriptures say a great deal about stewardship because it affects virtually every aspect of our earthly existence. Our willingness to put these biblical principles into practice, will depend on how much we will enjoy the freedom and fulfillment that comes only from being the servants of Christ (John 12:26; Col. 3:24)
(Dictionary)Stewardship defined means the position and duties of a steward, a person who acts as the surrogate of another or others, especially by managing property, financial affairs, an estate, etc.
(New Testament) word for stewardship is oikonomia, which the word economy is derived from.
This word means “management of a household,” and it refers to the responsibility that is entrusted to a manager or agent. A steward acts as an administrator of the affairs and possessions of another. As Christians, we have been entrusted with stewardship; the things we call our own are not really ours, but God’s. We have no possessions, and we do not even own ourselves: “Or do you not know that your
body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:19-20; 1 Cor. 3:23).
The Responsibility of Stewardship
God is our Master, and we are responsible to manage His affairs and possessions. Because we are privileged to be his servants, all that we have is His. Whether we have a lot or a little, our responsibility as His steward remains the same: faithfulness. “Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Now, it is of course required of stewards that they be found trustworthy.” (1 Cor. 4:1-2)
In the parable of the talents (Matt. 25:14-30), the amounts given to each were different, however,
each slave was entrusted with something. The rewards were not based on how much they were given, but on what they did with what they were given. The first two slaves were equally praised, though the first was given five talents while the second was given two talents. This is where we must resist the temptation to compare ourselves with others, because this is the basis of all dissatisfaction. We have all been given something, and only one thing is important to God–faithfulness to what He has given us and called us to do (Luke 12:42)
Stewardship is a Lifestyle
Biblical stewardship involves every facet of life, it requires a basic commitment on our part: we need to come to God as His servants, with no demands attached. The real question of stewardship is whether we are administrating our affairs and possessions as though they are ours or as though they are God’s business. We pattern of our lives is shaped upon the decisions we make, and the greatest of
these decisions is this: Am I the lord of my life, or is God the Lord of my life? We will either struggle to rule our own lives (the tragedy of the first Adam), or submit to the promise of God (the triumph of the second Adam). This is the difference between the great I WILL (Isa. 14:13-14) and the great THY WILL (Matt. 6:10; Mark 14:36).
All of us have legitimate physical and psychological needs, and God wants us to trust Him to meet these needs. Satan tries to deceive us into depending upon our own abilities and resources to meet our needs, while Jesus instructs us to depend upon Him. While selfless living is the essence of righteousness, selfishness is the essence of sin or rather saving our lives for our own sakes and losing our lives for Christ’s sake (see Mark 9:34-37). We cannot keep what we do not share with others. We are free to give without expecting anything in return because our needs are fully met in Christ.