4 Principles of Stewardship
By: Terrance Glover
“What does stewardship look like in our lives today?” This question must be asked to evaluate where our mindset is. Yes, stewardship can be applied in to how we use money for the glory of God, but looking further, stewardship is being responsible for the things that God has given us. To help build a framework, we will begin unpacking this idea of stewardship through four important biblical principles.
1. The principle of ownership.
Psalm 24:1 proclaims that “the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” (NIV). One thing that we must recognize in understanding stewardship is the fact that God owns everything in our lives. We must change our mindset towards ownership to obey God’s will involving our possessions. Deuteronomy 8:18 that demands us to “remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.” Since God owns it all, how much authority do you give God over your possessions?
2. The principle of responsibility.
In the beginning of Genesis, God created everything and puts Adam to work in the garden to take care of it. Relating this to our lives, Adam’s purpose is our current duty to fulfill. Since God owns everything, we are obligated to carry out the will of the father. For owners have rights and stewards have responsibilities. We must understand that when God blesses us with abundance, the abundance creates more of a responsibility to handle what God has given us. What has God given you that you are responsible for?
3. The principle of accountability.
In Matthew 12:36, Jesus says “but I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgement for every empty word they have spoken.” God has entrusted humanity to have authority over creation and we are not allowed to rule over it however we see fit. We are called to exercise dominion under the management of the Creator. We have been tasked with overseeing His creation in accordance with the principles He has established. In the end, we will all give account to the rightful owner as to how well we managed the things he has entrusted to us. How can you stay accountable and steward well what He has provided?
4. The principle of reward.
In Colossians 3:23-24, Paul writes, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Accountability of our ability to follow God’s commandments can generate reward. Moreover, we must switch our focus from the temporary to the eternal. The treasures that are stored up within us will also be rewarded through true sanctification that is in heaven after we depart from this earth. How comfortable are you with your life if God were to give an account for you right now?
As Christians, we need to fully understand this broader view of stewardship that goes beyond just handling with one’s finances; it connects everything we do with what God is doing in the world. There are principles in which we must reflect ourselves on our role as stewards. We need to understand that the Lord doesn’t only want us to handle our money and possessions well, but to handle all aspects of our lives. To be faithful stewards, we are called to glorify him, serve the common good, and further His Kingdom. As you begin understanding the concept of stewardship, what is your response? Let’s challenge ourselves to…