Our generosity and our giving of very selves back to God need to bear witness to the transforming power of Jesus. If we truly love another, we will offer them the example of how we love God even more than them. This is the “why” of our stewardship.
I love the verse in Sirach where it says, “My child, conduct your affairs with humility, and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts.” This is an interesting concept for those of us who think a stewardship way of life is all about the giving of gifts. When we start to think that all we are called to do is give for the sake of giving, we have missed the point.
However, no matter how much I write about my family and how much you read about them, you will only have a glimpse as to the real people. It will take an actual relationship with one of them to get you to the point where you can say you know them. That is the same way with Jesus.
If we are to be like Jesus, then we need to set the earth on fire. We need to be bold and proclaim the Good News without apology. By our actions of love and justice, we need to show the world that with the Body of Christ on earth, it is not business as usual.
A few months back, my wife and I helped move my oldest son into his first real apartment. He was moving to start his first real job and was excited and cautious at the same time. Moving him in reminded me of when his mother and I were first starting out.
We all are faced with decisions in life where we are met with uncertainty or fear. Often, our stewardship is limited by our inability to trust fully in God. If you find yourself unable to face the future or to make the big decisions in life, where does your trust lie?
What really matters to you? What’s the main thing in your life? I have witnessed once-strong disciples place politics, wealth, career, and family ahead of Jesus over time. All those things are enticing, but they are things that change. The one thing that does not change is God.
Some of us are thinking about taking a stewardship way of life seriously, but we are just not ready yet. But the truth is, we don’t have to be in any particular state of life or have a specific financial portfolio to start giving ourselves to God – he takes us as we are now.
Discernment should always be an important part of any good steward’s way of life. If we give simply for the sake of giving, that may not always be the best use of our gifts. In order to gain the most fruit from the seeds we plant, we must plant wisely.
To be made new in Christ, maybe we need many conversion stories. As we continually strive to pick up our crosses and follow Him, we fall away and need to come back to Him. Each time, we have a new story. Each time, God’s love and healing are profound.