We as Christians have chosen to give our lives to Jesus Christ. That means we have surrendered our will, our desires, and our way of doing things to Him.
The way we live that life is the classical stewardship definition.
Stewardship means we are not the owners of something, but only the managers. We do our best to manage something according to the owner’s will and desire.
This Bible verse gives us an idea of that principle
1 Cor 6:19-20
19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
A Biblical Definition of Stewardship
In this life, we have three things that we are stewards of. We manage our time, our energy, and our affections.
Since we are bought with a price and our life is not ours to decide what we want to do with, we must ask the question, what would God have us do with these three things?
Stewardship of time
How would God have us use our time?
We are only allotted a certain amount of time on planet earth. With that in mind, have you asked yourself the question, how would God like you to use that time?
Now there is nothing wrong with needing relaxation and downtime. It is part of how God created us, but has the pursuit of this become a time-waster rather than an energy restorer? How much time is needed in your life watching TV or movies, or spent on the internet?
How much time do you spend working to pay for things that have no eternal purpose?
I cannot answer this question for you, but it is a question that you need to ask if you are going to be a good steward of the time God has given you on this earth.
Where do your time priorities lie?
Stewardship of energy
How would God have us use our energy? Most of us spend a good portion of our energy earning a living. This is a good and honorable thing as long as the income we receive is then used for godly principles.
Again, the energy that you put out belongs to God. Thus the income you derive from that energy is not yours as well.
Most people feel they are doing good to give God 10% of their income called a tithe. Then the rest is theirs to spend as they please.
However, this is not the true definition of stewardship. All of your income is God’s if all of your life is God’s. So how would God want you to spend your income?
Here are four questions that John Wesley asked of himself when deciding this question.
- In spending this money, am I acting like I own it, or am I acting like the Lord’s trustee?
- What Scripture requires me to spend this money this way?
- Can I offer up this purchase as a sacrifice to the Lord?
- Will God reward me for this expenditure at the resurrection of the just?
Stewardship of affections
You are the steward of your affections.
You are no longer to put your affections on things that are not part of the heart of Jesus. You are to let Him be the one that places into your heart and mind the things that matter to Him. You are to set your affections on things above, eternal values, not on the things of this earth.
What things are you working towards? Are they things that can be stored in heaven, or things that will slowly fade and rot away here on earth?
Where is your heart focused? Are you mindful of a biblical stewardship definition?
What Is Real Biblical Stewardship?
Do you honestly think God will reward you for giving to someone who dances on money and lives extravagantly?
John Wesley although he ended up earning 50 times what it took to live a simple life, gave away all that he owned except what it took to continue to live a simple life because of his stewardship definition.
That is a far cry from the prosperity preachers of today!
Your money earned by your energy is not your own. It is Jesus’ money. Can you honestly see Jesus going up and putting money on a fancy church altar knowing they were going to dance on it?
You are not your own. You have been bought with a price. You made that choice, so now I encourage you to start changing the way you think.
Be a good manager of all that God has given you, and if you are faithful in that, He will provide you with more!
He will reward you as you apply biblical stewardship principles.
14 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone. 15 He gave five bags of silver to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip.16 “The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. 17 The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more. 18 But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money.19 “After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. 20 The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, ‘Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.’21 “The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!