Most times, we think of stewardship as lording over what God has given us. We think about our tithes, our offerings, our possessions….the things that we give or have been given. But as the hand appropriately illustrates, our “land,” the thing that we steward over, is much more than a material or tangible thing. It delves deep into areas that we sometimes seek God for, only after damage has been done: Our hearts and our relationships. Similar to my last post, we ask God to come in and change our hearts and make them more like him, but, how often do we do that for our relationships?
See, God has gifted us friends and partners who we should continually seek to pour into. We should look at these relationships as blessings from Heaven that we need to be like the faithful servant in ( ) and seek to return them to God, better than we received them. How do you do that?
We first have to ask God to help us perform the greatest act of holiness that we illustrate to our brothers and sisters: Love. We have to ask God to help us love each other better. Alone, we don’t really know how to love unconditionally. Alone, we don’t truly understand how to forgive. In our humanity, we can’t fathom what freedom is illustrated in non-judgment. But these three are some of the pillars of great and Godly love. Mercy and grace are also apart of God’s ultimate love, but they are far harder to obtain – given our human nature. Our human nature is one that desires “fairness” and “retribution” and “justice”… well, when you think about it – all of these characteristics are also smaller examples of the ones listed above. Justice, for example, when you break is down – is a good balance between selflessness and selfishness. Justice or a sense of it, helps us regulate our relationship with others. Often times, though, our cardinal/flesh nature allows us to get this out of whack and we seek to be the “bearer of justice, in an unjust world.” Now how on earth can we do that, when, we don’t operate in Justice (translation: Love) all the time? See? This love thing, which directly is a byproduct (or a necessary ingredient) of stewardship, makes us have to take a hard, cold look at the internal man.
Stewardship, in the form of relationships, is also about knowing our own limitations. God doesn’t gift us with college level responsibilities, on a elementary school education mind-set. So be patient with others, but most importantly, be patient with yourself. The first act of stewardship, is being a good steward of our own bodies and our own minds. One of the mental laws in the book “Think and Grow Rich” (Dennis Kimbro) says that what we think upon, grows. So meditate on who you WANT to become, and you will begin to see manifestations of that inward man, outwardly. We have to guard what enters our minds and our spirits – that is step one for being a good steward to yourself. This also translates into watching what we eat and how we handle our bodies. From the decision we make on working out, to the decisions we make on who we allow to emotional deposit into our heart bank. Oh yes! Who you allow to make deposits (And withdrawals) into your emotional bank, will also have an affect on your ability to steward.
I’m going to have to continue this whole stewardship concept in two blogs, because it’s that deep on my heart. Stewardship begins with your self, and only then can it extend to the relationships that you hold in high esteem.
Seek to return the people who know you best, the people who work your nerves the most in better condition than when you found them. And that includes everyone!! Spouses/boyfriends/girlfriends/regular friends….