Radical Stewardship: Managing Our Finances, Time, and Health

Stewardship is manageent

The term stewardship is one of those “churchy” words you usually only hear on Sunday mornings. We seldom apply it to anything but money or finances. However, I don’t think it only applies to this area of life. It certainly includes finances. However, I believe the way I use the term, is more in keeping with what it truly means.

If you refer to your favorite dictionary the word is probably defined something like this:

Definition of Stewardship

1: the office, duties, and obligations of a steward

2: the conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially :the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care

  • stewardship of natural resources

(The source I used is: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/.)

The first definition doesn’t tell us much. If you know the definition of steward you probably can take a reasonable guess at the definition of stewardship. But, look at the second definition. Do you see that a more common word, management, is a synonym for stewardship? I’m suggesting management means the same thing as stewardship. The difference is that no one, most likely, will misunderstand management. However, people who speak about stewardship are most likely “preaching to the choir.”

If you take “stewardship” out of the context of the church, it means something different. Try applying it to your daily life. Here, at Ordinary Believer, when we refer to Radical Stewardship, we mean managing your life. It is not just managing your life in the same way the world manages their lives. We aim to manage our lives in a way that honors our Lord. We want to manage our lives radically.

Three Areas of Radical Stewardship

Using the word stewardship in our context, means more than just putting a tithe in the offering plate. The way we use the word, is radical. We want to help you manage what God has provided. Yes, he has given you money with which to live. But, he has also provided you with time that you can use for his glory or waste on selfishly on yourself. Finally, he has given you life and a body to perpetuate that life. You can abuse your body with harmful addictions and excesses. Ot nurture your strength and ability to fight off disease by caring  for your body, Proper nutrition, exercise, and rest work wonders.

Finances, Time, and Health

Radical stewardship primarily means managing your finances. Money is necessary if you are to do whatever it is that God has called you to do. Use our money one of two different ways. You can buy everything we want until our money is all gone and then use credit for whatever else. Or you can spend only what you need and put what you don’t into a savings account. The day will come when you need a little extra.

It also means managing your time. Whether we live to be 40, or 110, you must use the time wisely. God gives us time on this earth to do the things he has purposed for us to do. You should be managing our time, each hour, day, month, and year to complete the tasks he has assigned you. This takes planning and being intentional about the things you do. Alternatively, you might just watch cat videos because the YouTube algorithm feeds them to you.

Finally, you must be careful about how you manage your health. You can’t weigh 300 pounds and expect to be ready if God calls you work at a physically demanding task. You shouldn’t be concerned with your body image for vanity’s sake. But, you should know that being fit and trim will open doors of opportunity. A fat, out-of-shape person will never be offered these opportunities.

Parable of the Talents

I’m not trying to “fat-shame” anyone here. We all are given different gifts and in different amounts. Consider the following parable Jesus told:

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. and to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.

Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.

So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. ‘And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 

Therefore, take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.’For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'” – Mat 25:14-30 NKJV

(Note: The term “talent” is an amount of money. It is believed by some to be worth about 20 years of a typical person’s wages. Others have calculated it to be about 75 pounds of gold.)

One servant was given ten talents, another five, and another one. We also are given what we have from the Lord in varying amounts. Some people seem to always be in the right place at the right time to seize financial opportunities. Others struggle just to pay the rent. Others seem to be born with the genes that keep them thin and trim. Still others gain weight if they only think about eating, it seems.

However, just as the steward with one talent, we must do our best with what we’re given. If you are born with handicaps, have medical conditions, or was injured in an accident, you may not ever be as fit as an aerobics instructor, but you are still responsible to manage what you’ve been given.

If you haven’t read it yet, be sure to check out the first post in this series at: Growing On Purpose: Spiritual Growth through God-Given Pursuits

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