Are You Acting Like a Steward … or an Owner?

stewardshipThere was man named Alonso who was a steward. He took care of the assets of someone else. Money and property alike were entrusted to him. Every piece of personal property owned by his boss – and that was a lot – was under Alonso’s care.

He was hired for the position because he had a reputation for careful management. Alonso was meticulous. He was highly educated, a whiz with numbers, had a keen mind – a quick learner. What he didn’t already know, he knew how to figure out. He was a perfect fit for the position of steward.

In the first three years, Alonso had doubled his boss’s fortune. It was a monumental feat that the best market fund managers would have been proud of. His boss, who was already wealthy beyond comprehension, now had twice as much.

But Alonso’s boss was not altogether pleased. He noticed that Alonso was overly protective of certain assets. When his boss wanted to use his favorite car, for example, Alonso urged him toward a different one. If the boss wanted to spend money – or especially if he wanted to give some away – Alonso was quick to offer reasons why he shouldn’t. In fact, it eventually got to the point where, if the dollar amount the boss wanted was too high, Alonso simply refused to cooperate.

The boss realized that Alonso was acting more like he owned the assets, instead of like he was a steward of them.

Uh oh. I hope that story – especially the end – wasn’t about you.

As Christians, what we have doesn’t actually belong to us. We are stewards.

Our money, our possessions, the gifts and talents we have been given, even our time, all belong to God. Those things are not really ours. They have been entrusted to us for a time. But, ultimately, they are His.

Yet, in recognizing this, it is essential to remember that we are stewards to a generous Master. God is not a harsh taskmaster. He is not like Ebenezer Scrooge. He is kind and gracious and caring and benevolent. And how we handle the things He has entrusted to our stewardship should reflect those qualities.

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace…” (1 Peter 4:10)

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