Fall is traditionally harvest time in rural America. It is the season when farmers reap the fruit of their labors. It is also traditionally the time when Christians reflect on their stewardship and pray about how they might be even better stewards in the coming year of all that God has entrusted them with.
When the church talks about stewardship, we are used to thinking that it is about money – our tithes and offerings. That it is about raising a budget for the coming year. Stewardship is about money but it is also about our natural abilities, spiritual gifts, care for the environment, and our relationships with Christ and others. God calls each of us to be a good steward of all that we have received. God calls us to give of our time, our talents, and our treasure.
A steward manages the property or affairs for another. Stewardship is personal responsibility for taking care of another person’s property or finances. In our context, it means managing the gifts and resources that God has placed at our disposal.
In The Practice of the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence writes, “Let us often remember, my dear friend, that our sole occupation in life is to please God” (45). If that is true, and I believe that it is, how much then do we owe God?
Of our relationships?
Of our gifts and abilities?
Of our money and possessions?
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 reminds us that we are not our own but God’s. There is nothing that we have that did not come from the Creator including our physical being. The secret to being a good steward is always remembering who the owner is. To be an effective Steward, we must be in continual communication with the owner (God). For this purpose, God has provided us with the Holy Spirit. As we listen to the Spirit and follow the Spirit’s leading, we become more effective stewards.
As we pray about this holistic approach to Christian stewardship, let us look at the ways in which God has invited us to partner with Him in the harvest!