Three Ways to Grow Your Practice of Stewardship

Stewardship is a big concept that includes money, relationships, care for the earth, neighboring, health and wellness, and more.

At its core, biblical stewardship just means orienting my life around the truth that God owns it all and I need to take care of the portion He has given me.

But, how do I really know when I’m exercising good stewardship?

It’s tempting to reduce stewardship to rules. Either I set new goals in areas I know I’m lax (I resolve to give 10%!) or I pat myself on the back in areas I know I’m reasonably responsible (Way to go on drinking that smoothie!). Unfortunately, such self-effort or self-congratulation undermines the power of the owner/steward relationship that God desires.

So how can I grow in my practice of stewardship?

Remember that Stewardship is a Journey not a Destination

We hurry. Slowing down to be with the Map Maker – the Owner of everything, the Designer of our heart and the Author of our stories – changes stewardship from a to-do list to a dynamic relationship.

Jesus said, “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” When I invest my time (a true treasure!) into my relationship with God, my heart naturally bends toward good stewardship because it knows Him and is invested in His purposes. 

Remember to Keep It between the Foul Lines

Someone once said that parenting is the process of identifying the “foul lines” and encouraging our kids to enjoy anything in “fair territory.” This analogy accounts for the uniqueness of our kids and it helps us not panic when they meander all over the proverbial field.

When we are aware of the “foul lines” of stewardship, we can enjoy the process of learning to live boldly in fair territory.

On the one hand, there’s the foul territory of control. It’s tempting to justify controlling finances, calories, time, etc. in the name of “good stewardship.” Self-righteousness and rigidity replace wise stewardship.

Alternatively, we cross over into the territory of blind faith. Claiming, “God will provide” while not taking action toward healthy habits abdicates personal responsibility. Proactivity is a hallmark of wise stewardship.

 Remember to Let Your Light Shine

Yesterday, I made cinnamon rolls and thought of my mom. God made her someone who easily tackles logistics and tangibly loves people well. Her gifts made her a great mom. Because she let her light shine in our home, I know how to make her cinnamon rolls. I doubt that she ever had “teach the art of cinnamon rolls” on her list of stewardship to-dos. However, because she let her light shine in our home, I can now love my carb-loving teen with greater confidence.

Sometimes, stewardship is simply letting your light shine.

Your light is just that – your light – emanating from you out of your uniqueness.  As you shine into the spaces around you, large and small, other sojourners will learn and be fortified.

Journey well, my friend.