In the English language we use possessive forms to indicate the relationship of possessions: this is my car, this is our house, and these are our kids. While these grammatical constructs are necessary, they may also fuel a false perception of our identity.
From a Biblical perspective, God is actually the owner of everything; we are temporary custodians of His resources. That’s why, as His image bearers, our identity is better understood in the context of stewardship. It embodies the responsible planning and management of the resources God gives to our care.
Learning to steward the life God has given us is an important task. Here are five principles that I strive to implement into my life as a steward:
1. Time is a limited resource, therefore live each day with intentionality. Intentionality fosters a life of purpose and creates a greater sense of mission. Moses prayed and asked God,
Teach us to number our days, that we might gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)
Today, the average person lives about 27,000 days. As a responsible steward, make it your goal to infuse intentionality into each day and every moment.
2. The healthier you are the greater your capacity is to thrive. The Bible describes our body as a temple of the Holy Spirit and as Believers our entire being belongs to God (1 Cor. 6:19-20). As such how we treat our body plays into stewardship. As a good steward, make physical exercise a value in your life, strive to eat well, take time to rest, and overcome stress by engaging in healthy physical activity.
3. Leverage your natural abilities, develop new skills, and never stop learning. We are custom made masterpieces and when God created us he loaded you and me with raw talent and natural abilities. Good stewardship includes putting your gifts to work, therefore live life with a commitment to develop new skills and become a lifelong learner.
4. Invest into relationships, they’re one of life’s greatest gifts. Wise stewards nurture existing relationships, build new ones, and never take friendships for granted. God will naturally connect you with new people and use many of them to shape your story of stewardship.
5. Finances – Make all you can, Save all you can, Give all you can. John Wesley (1703-1791), the English preacher, was the first to articulate these three simple rules on how we should view money. As a faithful steward, combine integrity and hard work in whatever field God has placed you in. Then be disciplined and cut the fat from your budget by limiting unnecessary expenses – what can you live without? And when you come to the last rule, give all you can, remember everything belongs to God, so give everything you can back to God.