This week we are looking what Stewardship means, and how we can still practice this part of the faith in today’s world.
1 Peter 4:10
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
2 Corinthians 9:6-7
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
The term “stewardship” gets used to mean two main things in my experience of churches: 1. Looking after the planet, 2. Giving money to the church.
I think that this term is much broader than each of those meanings though. I think this word means to “take care of that which God has given to you”.
This encompasses both of the first to definitions I gave you. If you are looking after the environment, then that’s taking care of the world that God has given to us, and if you are giving to the church then you are both taking care of your own finances, and taking care of the local church.
So what does the bible say?
In Genesis, we see God saying that he made humankind in order to care for the world he had created. To use the land, and to manage it. Is this something that is still important for us to do? Yes of course it is! More than ever do we need to stand up for the planet which God has given us. Sometimes I wonder what God must think if he looks at what has happened to the planet he created…
In the reading from 1 Peter we are told that if we receive a gift, then we should use that gift to help someone else. If you think about your job, your money, your income as a gift from God, then this is something that could link to given a gift of money to the local church. But equally it could be anything couldn’t it? If someone gives you an 8 pack of Coke, then you could give some to you friends. If someone gives you a car, you can offer people lifts. If you were given a house, you could use it to give people a place to stay.
As well as those things though; I think this verse could also link to out skills and abilities that we are given. How can you use what skills you have been given by God to bless other people?
Are you a good cook? Make dinner for someone / some people?
Are you good with numbers? Help someone out who needs support managing their finances?
Are you good at sport? Volunteer with a local club to help those younger than yourself to learn the same sport that you enjoy so much.
We can always use our gifts to help others; and it glorifies God.
Our reading from 2 Corinthians shows that if we are to give to others people generously, then we will receive from God generously.
Don’t be shy with what you have been given, instead, use it to help other people. If you have a talent that you are really round of, then find a way you can use that to help someone else, don’t just keep it to yourself, and definitely don’t be embarrassed by it!
So, stewardship means to take care of that which God has given to you; and by doing so, to share it with others.
Lord, thank you for all that you have given to me. Help me to know how to best share these gifts with other people around me. Help me also Lord, to take better care of your planet, and to stand up for our environment. Amen.
Stewardship is to take care of the things you are given by God, however big or small, and to share them with those around you.
This week, I challenge you to think of one skill that you have that you could use to help someone else. If you already do this, great, but can you think of another?
Let us know how this goes! We’d love to hear the new ways that you find to bless other people with your skills.