Are you a Good Steward?
When we think of stewarding, money comes to mind, but there’s much more to it than that. This post explores the concept of stewardship from a different perspective.
“I met with John today.”
“How did it go?”
Kenny let out a deep breath like he’d been holding it in all day. His lips were dry, and the nervousness coated his voice. “Not as well as I had hoped.”
He had her attention now. “What does that mean?”
“It looks like we’re going to lose about half.”
Tiffany put her fork down. “Are you serious? We’re going to lose half of what we’ve made?”
“No, not half of our profit,” Kenny said. The words came slow and painful. “Half of what we started with.”
“Kenny, tell me you’re joking. Kenny?” But she knew he wasn’t. “Half of our savings is gone?”
“Yes.” He couldn’t look her in the eye.
“How could that happen?”
“Tiffany, we talked about this before we invested the money. You knew there was a chance—”
She interrupted him. “I didn’t know anything of the sort.” Tiffany knew the plan had been too good to be true. She was just as angry with herself as she was with him. “You told me this was a sure thing and that John Hudson was the best financial planner in town.”
“Calm down, it’s going to be okay.”
“When, Kenny?” Tiffany was standing now, leering at him over the table. “When we’re totally broke?”
She waited for an answer—any response would do—but Kenny didn’t say a word.
And what could he say?
The damage was done.
what is a good steward?
“...When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.” (Luke 12:48b NLT)
Most of our focus is on what we don’t have—money, a better job, better health, a nicer home, even happier relationships. But what we have, and the quality of it, is often determined by our ability to manage it. As we see in this scripture above, Jesus informs us that the more we are given, the more responsibility we take on.
When we think of what it means to be a steward, money usually comes to mind. But only one definition of the word makes reference to finances; a steward is also “one who actively directs affairs.” In this case, it's someone with a leadership role.
Many people desire a job with more authority and pay, but aren’t always able to handle the one they have. It isn’t uncommon for the guy working in the mail room to think he can run the company better than the CEO. But does he really know all that comes with being in charge?
Being a great leader means doing things no one else will do, like rolling up your sleeves and getting in the trenches. Show everyone else you’re willing to go the extra mile and you may even get an extra dose of respect without asking.
A Good Steward takes care of what they have. It doesn’t matter if your car has a few dents or the apartment you live in is leased. Treat it well and show the world how much you appreciate what you’ve got. If you don’t, it’s going to be hard to convince anyone you could handle more.
“And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven?”
(Luke 16:11 NLT)
is your stock rising?
Instead of being forced to work for anyone who will hire you, wouldn’t it be nice to have multiple companies recruiting your services? Wouldn’t you like to have a credit score that will help you get a loan on a new house or car? Wouldn’t you like to be respected by your peers? This may sound like common sense, but au contraire, it takes more effort than you may think. It starts with doing everything you can to create more value for yourself.
“Using a dull ax requires great strength, so sharpen the blade. That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed.”
(Ecclesiastes 10:10 NLT)
This verse compares wisdom to a sharp ax. What would it take to sharpen yours? Maybe you need to learn more about the job you have now, or about the one you want. Knowledge is power and a Good Steward works to get better at what they do. How much better off would most of us be if we tried to improve the work we’re doing now?
Maybe this verse clues us in:
“Do you see any truly competent workers? They will serve kings rather than working for ordinary people.”
(Proverbs 22:29 NLT)
Perhaps if the couple in our story had taken time to learn more about investing their money in the stock market, they could have saved themselves some trouble, not to mention thousands of dollars. Instead, Kenny and Tiffany relied solely on someone else. And while we do need professionals to help us—doctors or financial advisors, for instance—we still have a responsibility to do our part.
“Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.”
(Proverbs 21:5, NLT)
Get a second opinion, study, Google it if you have to, but invest the time to learn as much as you can before you make a decision. You can’t shovel the blame onto anyone else if things don’t go according to plan. It’s important to work with people you trust, but every single person on Earth makes mistakes. Don’t be a victim of their next mistake.
Remember that nothing is fool-proof, even well-designed plans fail. But if you’re asking God to lead you and direct your steps, you can sleep at night knowing that you’re doing your best. Be a Good Steward with all that He has given you, and watch your stock rise.