Understanding stewardship and it’s importance from a biblical perspective
What is stewardship?
The Miriam-Webster dictionary defines stewardship as the “the conducting, supervising, or managing of something especially : the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care”
What I would like to focus on is the latter portion of that definition. It’s one thing to conduct, supervise and manage something, but it’s another to do something you have been entrusted with carefully and responsibly.
From a biblical perspective, stewardship is understood as something God has established and entrusted one to take care of, to govern with a purpose of it being fruitful and having beneficial outcomes.
The very first example of earthly stewardship is shown in Genesis chapter 2 and verse 15. After God had created earth, He created Adam to care for it and manage it (The Garden of Eden specifically). What I find interesting is that God did not have to explain to Adam how to care for and manage the garden. It was Adam’s initial purpose to be a steward over what God had entrusted unto him. When we are purposed by God for a specific task, he enables us to perform the task with precision and care. God gives the knowledge and wisdom to complete the work he has entrusted us with. It is also important to note why it was important for God to create someone to manage the garden. It’s not that God couldn’t/can’t manage his creation, but He did this to exemplify the purpose of stewardship.
- To maintain order
- To promote growth
- To benefit others
Could you imagine being apart of an organization that did not have any managers or supervisors? It would be utter chaos and confusion. There wouldn’t be any order and it is more than likely that organization would not succeed. It is necessary to have stewards.
Not only can stewards contribute to maintaining order, stewardship done responsibly will promote growth and success, hence making it fruitful and beneficial for others.
Stewardship requires efficiency
In Luke chapter 13 and verses 6 through 9, Jesus tells a parable of a keeper (steward) who was neglectful in caring for his vineyard. For the past three years Jesus came to the same vineyard seeking fruit on the trees yet found none. This steward was slothful in caring for what God had entrusted into his care. Anything that God entrusts us with has purpose and importance. When we fail to see the purpose and importance we then kill the potential of fruitfulness. We all have been entrusted by God to be stewards over things.. our finances, our bodies, our family, ministry- The list could go on. Ask yourself, am I being slothful and neglectful in managing what God has entrusted me with?
When we are effecient stewards, success is bound to follow. In Genesis chapter 39 verses 1 through 6 we see the benefits of being a diligent and responsible steward. Joseph was made an overseer of his master, Potiphar’s house. Joseph found favor with Potiphar and was entrusted with the responsibility of overseeing the affairs of Potiphar’s house. Joseph was was prospered by God, and God gave Joseph the wisdom and knowledge to function in this capacity. Potiphar’s house and land prospered because of the blessings of God on Joseph’s life. If you continue to read in the following chapters about Joseph and his time in Potiphar’s house, it is evident that Joseph was efficient, careful and diligent with the responsibility and role he was given. Evidently, success had followed and many were benefited.
There are countless examples of stewardship found in the Bible and it would be beneficial for us all to read them. These scriptures will help us to be effective stewards in the matters God has entrusted to us. It will help us to be effective on our jobs, at church and wherever else we have responsibilities.
It is necessary for us to be diligent in doing what we have been called to do because in doing so, Gods purpose will be fulfilled and we will see the full potential of that thing. In our diligence there we will also find reward.
21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lordMatthew 25:21 (Holy Bible-KJV)
23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.Colossians 3: 23-34 (Holy Bible- KJV)