Stewardship not primarily about money or giving but about being good managers of the gifts we have been given by God in trust. It’s about putting those gifts of time, talent and treasure to God’s works of love and justice in the world – not holding and hoarding but passing on with gratitude.
Christian stewardship grows out of gratitude. Daily ask “For what gifts am I grateful today?” Say “Thank you” often – to God and others. And then respond to that gratitude by putting the things God has given you in trust to use for God’s work in the world. Consider how those things that have been given to you have been given as trusts and should be returned to God in trust by putting them into the service of others. The results if you do? I can guarantee that you will feel more fulfilled in your life of Christian discipleship and you will grow in your relationship with the Lord.
Want to cultivate an attitude of gratitude? Take a moment and think of 2 or 3 things that you have received as blessings or gifts and notice the gratitude that you do not have to create but which suddenly arises in your spirit. Thank God for these blessings. Do the same each night before you go to sleep. And then watch as your awareness of your gifts increases and as your response to them begins to change.
A second thing that sits right at the heart of a Christian understanding of stewardship is the difference between a possession and a trust. When we view something as a possession we think of it as “mine”; when we view it as a trust, we recognize that rather that it being mine, it is simply “mine to take care of.” A steward is a person who takes care of precious property which is not his or her own. But as Jesus taught in the parable of the talents, stewards don’t just protect holdings, they are also expected to develop them – to put them to use so they produce a yield. Time, talents, and treasures that are recognized as mine in trust, and which are then put to the use of the owner, not the steward, produce yields for God’s work of love and justice on earth. Sharing what we have been given in trust with others is putting them into the service of God so they can bless others. The recipients, in turn, can then also be grateful for the infinite variety of gifts they receive. And so gratitude works as the gift that keeps on giving.