Probing the topic of stewardship, we see that we have a moral obligation to return our relationships to God, in better condition than we received them. The last blog explored the fundamental part of stewardship: YOU. Now that the foundation has been laid, we can glide over that solid cement to discover the deeper aspects of stewardship, as it relates to our relationships: The other person.
Our ability to forgive and continually find common ground empowers that great act of holiness commanded by the Divine One: Love. Forgiveness has been unpacked a few times, so I want to visit this whole common ground prospective. Finding common ground is more than compromise. Compromise, and the nature of it, means that there is a side that gives up a ‘thing’ of lesser importance to the person/thing/side with more power or for something that is more important. What is subtle about true common ground is the mutuality principle. Mutuality implies a common benefit, a shared belief over a principle of equal importance. Something that both sides value and both sides can agree to the value of.
So another basis of stewardship is our ability to find common value in and on the things that matter to us. This is where relationships get tricky! We, as individuals have separate agendas, goals, beliefs and motivations. How then, do we seek to find mutuality amidst all this flurry of activity? This is where we have to begin to seek God for our clarity of purpose. When we have close friends and family that involve us in their decisions, actions, motives, thoughts, etc – we have to understand our purpose in their lives. Occasionally we have to take a step back and understand the time and season that we are in.
For our spouses/mates it should be relatively easy to understand what season it is, because in these relationships we have a larger propensity to seek God and seek what the other person desires/needs out of/from the partnering. But what about our platonic relationships? What about those friendships that we’ve had since birth? Or since college? What about those people who are developing and maturing right next to us? Do we owe any sort of stewardship seed to “them”? How do we establish what season we are in, with respect to their lives? I firmly believe that this is one part you and the compatibility of the person you’re aligned with in agape and brotherly love and one part divinity. So the all-knowing creator of the universe designed both of you for a time such as this. You each bring different skill to the table, and through through friendship/relationship are able to provide the other with some clarity through the gifts that you possess.
When you really begin to dig through what stewardship really entails and how deep/vast/wide this aspect of love is embedded into the connections of our lives, its almost a wonder how we have survived thus far, having such a limited understanding of it. Think about how richly fulfilling our relationships would be if both parties took an active approach to stewarding? How much better (and sometimes smaller) would our circle of friends be, if we took time to actively and continually sow and pour into them?
No, no need for an extra shot of espresso this morning… I’m all awake thinking about the bridge to be a better steward. (ps-I’m searching for the stewardship1 post)