What does it mean to be a good steward? In fact what is stewardship? I found this definition: “Stewardship is the responsibility to manage all the resources of life for the glory of God, acknowledging God as provider.” I would add that a godly stewardship looks to turn a profit (thirty, sixty or a hundred fold). This profit will prosper my own soul, and it will bring a blessing to those things (or people) for which I am responsible.
1 Peter 4:10 says that we are to be “good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” 1 Cor. 4:1 refers to “good stewards of the mysteries of God.” The next verse says, “Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.” So we can see from these verses that a steward should be good and a steward should be faithful.
What are these “resources of life” we’ve been given? These are the categories I’d like to consider over the next few posts: our time, our talents and gifts, our resources, our relationships, our afflictions, and our blessings.
Let’s begin with time, that daily gift of grace. How do we steward our time? We all want to “love life and see good days.” How do we do it? What’s the secret to loving your life and seeing good days? Can you imagine the many answers the world might have to this question?
But 1 Peter 3:10-12 says “He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.” In other words, the short answer is this. Want to enjoy life? Then watch your mouth.
Being a good steward of our time means watching our words, whether written or spoken, and we should even watch the unspoken ones.
Time is something we are to use, enjoy, share, and steward. Psalm 90:12 says, “Teach us to number our days that we might apply our hearts to wisdom.” We can’t count backwards. We don’t know how many days we have left in this life. I think numbering our days is counting forward, looking at the Lord’s Day as the foundation of each week and orienting our lives around God’s worship. We number our days, Sunday to Sunday. We apply wisdom. As we worship God, we are fulfilling our purpose. He created us to worship and enjoy Him, and the Lord’s Day is the perfect beginning to another week of stewarding His gifts to us.
We creatures can manufacture a skewed idea of how God wants us spending our time. We may feel guilty because we don’t think we got anything done today. We have nothing to show for it. And yet it may have been one of our most fruitful days ever. We may have been feeding children, reading stories, wiping away tears and runny noses, cleaning up messes, and making a big pot of mac and cheese. What a glorious day! But from our perspective, we didn’t get anything done. To see it from God’s perspective is to apply our hearts to wisdom. What resources did He bestow on you? Toddlers? And how did you manage those resources today? Did you turn a profit?
Finally, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 is the beautiful poem about time: “To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” Our time is in God’s hands. We should embrace each phase of our life, loving our life and seeing good days: the young years, the middle years, and old age. We should not be sentimental about time, but see each season as a gift with its own glories. Ecclesiastes 7:10 says, “Do not say, ‘Why were the former days better than these?’ For you do not inquire wisely concerning this.” The glory days are now, not ten years behind or five years ahead.
God’s time management program of loving life and seeing good days means speaking the truth, worshiping God, believing in His purposes and plans, and glorying in each season with wisdom.