What is Stewardship?
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “stewardship”?
 
We might all have somewhat different answers to that question. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines stewardship as:
 
the conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care.
 
That sounds good, but as Christians we have a more authoritative source than the dictionary! Scripture has a lot to say about stewardship.  Perhaps the most well-known example is Jesus’ parable of the talents in Matthew 25, in which Jesus teaches how critically important it is for us to use the gifts we receive from God appropriately.  However, many other sections of scripture address various aspects of stewardship.  Consider the following handful of examples:
 
Psalms 54:6. With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you; I will give thanks to your name, O LORD, for it is good.
 
2 Corinthians 9:8. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
 
Philippians 4:8. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. 
 
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. 
 
These verses (and many others) make it clear that stewardship involves every aspect of our lives. Putting these thoughts together, a more fitting definition of Christian stewardship might be something like the following:
 
Stewardship is our God-pleasing management of the time of grace, natural abilities, spiritual gifts, and physical resources that our Lord has blessed us with and entrusted to our care.
 
If it has been some time since you have thought specifically about your personal stewardship of the gifts our Lord has blessed you with, consider taking some quiet time to prayerfully thank God for those gifts and reflect on how you might best use them to worship God, advance his kingdom on earth, and serve those around you.
 
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!