Are you managing your resources well?
Dictionary.com defines stewardship as one executing the position and duties of a steward, that is, a person who acts as the surrogate of another or others, especially by managing property, financial affairs, an estate, etc. , or the responsible overseeing and protection of something considered worth caring for and preserving.
As part of God’s amazing creation, we are the stewards of Earth, the charge to keep and care being issued to Adam. In Genesis 2:15 (NIV) “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” We all have a responsibility to take part in the keeping and caring of this amazing planet on which we live.
Moving from that global picture of stewardship, we are charged to be good stewards of the things with which God has blessed us. Our stewardship responsibilities fall into three categories: time, talents and treasure. What does stewardship have to do with wealth creation? A lot; It is an indication of our attitude towards the management of our affairs. Luke 16:10 (NLT) “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities
CATEGORIES OF STEWARDSHIP RESPONSIBILITIES
Time is one of the greatest equalisers in our human experience, as long as we are alive we all have 24 hours. Whether we are the prime minister, the CEO of a large company, self-employed or unemployed, we are all allotted the same number of hours in the day. The significant difference is how we utilise these hours.
Proverbs 6:6-11 (NLT) “(6) Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise! (7) Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, (8) they labour hard all summer, gathering food for the winter. (9) But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up? (10) A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, (11) then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber..
Talents and giftings might be less evenly distributed; nevertheless we are expected to be great stewards of what we have received. The parable of the talents (Matthew. 25: 14-30) makes it very clear that regardless of the extent of talents received, we are expected to maximize on its development and usage. This will invariably lead to its multiplication. The steward who received the one talent in the parable was depressed and distraught and went and buried it which, of course, yielded no return.
We do not have to be multi-talented to bring forth great results. John Maxwell in his book, Intentional Living, encourages us to find our why, our purpose. This is the life blood of intentional living. He continues, once you find your why, your purpose, you will also find your way. Our gift, not gifts will make room for us! Recognising, understanding, tapping into and utilising the gift that God has given us is evidence of our stewardship. Not only should we aim to be good stewards, but rather excellent ones. Wealth creation and excellence in stewardship go hand in hand!
The use of our time and talents, finding our why and living purposefully will invariably create a framework for wealth creation, that is, a stock of value, money or money’s worth will flow towards us. Being good stewards require us to manage these resources well. Indeed, Proverbs 21:20 (AMPC) reminds us “ There are precious treasures and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a self-confident and foolish man swallows it up and wastes it.”
Being a good steward requires us to build our financial literacy. Financial literacy, as defined by Investopedaia.com, is “the ability to understand and effectively use various financial skills, including personal financial management, budgeting, and investing”. As good stewards of our financial affairs we must be prepared to manage, oversee and protect that which is considered worth caring for and preserving.
Proverbs 27: 23-27 (MSG) encapsulates it succinctly: “ Know your sheep by name; carefully attend to your flocks; Don’t take them for granted; possessions don’t last forever .… when the crops are in and the harvest is stored in the barns …; There will be plenty of milk and meat to last your family through the winter.”
Prayer: Father in this season, we open our hearts to become better stewards over the good gifts that you have bestowed upon us. We commit this day to unearth that talent, that gift which was buried and to cause it to be multiplied in our lives in Jesus’ Name Amen!
Gladstone Johnson is the associate pastor of Encounter Ministries International. He is also a chartered accountant and a registered public accountant.