I have been thinking about stewardship a lot lately and about what is the proper way to steward. I believe that this must be done with an open hand. Let me explain. If we are grasping on to what is “ours,” it is impossible to manage all that we are responsible for. Money is the easiest object to see if we are open or closed handed, but really it is true of everything whether people or objects we must steward with an open hand. These 3 things help me to steward with an open hand.
“Stewardship is the position and duties of a steward, a person who acts as the surrogate of another or others, especially by managing property, financial affairs, an estate, etc.”
1. God owns it. The recognition that it is not mine is the first step to proper stewardship. This is the biggest step and often the one we forget the easiest. In the church we love to throw around words that we don’t know what they mean. I believed that stewardship meant being good with money. What it actually means is that what we own we are really caring for on behalf of God. When you are tempted to close your hand remember this very important piece of stewardship.
2. Steward what you have. Steward what you are responsible for. Our time, money, God given gifts and abilities, our influence, and our bodies all comes from God. In Luke 16:10 it says, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” Even if it is something that seems little take care of it and it will flourish. You and you alone have been entrusted to take care of everything that you have.
3. Steward now. What you take care of today determines what you will be taking care of in ten years. I have heard many people say they will give money when they have more of it. This is not really how it works. If you are not giving money when you have a little of it, you will not give when you have a lot of it. We as humans have limitless desires. Learn how to give and be generous in the small days and you and I will be generous in the days we dream about.
If you have struggled with stewarding I am with you. It is not perfection we should be after but a soft and open heart. Closed hands indicate a place in our hearts that has become hardened. Pray for a new perspective. God is faithful and will give you wisdom. Zechariah 4:10 says, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” Be blessed and enjoy the journey as we learn to steward with an open hand!