“Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.” – 1Co 4:2 NKJV
When we speak of stewardship, we generally think about how we manage our money, especially our giving. While money management and generosity are important, let me suggest it is only one of the areas of our lives in which we are called to good stewardship. Other areas include the use of our time and the care for our bodies.
Before we speak of the other two areas of stewardship, let’s talk about the most obvious area of stewardship. Jesus said, “Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?” – Luke 16:11 NKJV. We learn a couple of things from this verse. The first is:
- “Unrighteous mammon,” is not true riches.
Mammon is an Aramaic word which means “wealth” or “treasure.” Mortals seek to acquire financial treasure, but true riches are found in spiritual treasure. Jesus clarifies this when he exhorts us, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; “but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Mat 6:19-21 NKJV
Money comes and money goes, but spiritual treasure cannot be taken from us, so it is of much greater value. The way you handle your money on earth can be the key to making large deposits into your heavenly bank account. So, honor the Lord with your wealth.
- God is watching to see how you handle money, to determine if he should entrust true riches to you.
Money is a blessing. Or, at least, it can be. It can also be a curse. What determines which is our attitude towards it. We can make money a god. We can worry if we don’t have it, or we can trust that God, who knows every sparrow that falls, to provide for us.
Rather than a blessing or a curse, money should be viewed as a test. If we are generous, if we manage the little or much that we have well, we pass the test. On the contrary, if we are greedy, stingy, or wasteful we fail. Good money management means that God can trust us with greater riches than mere money.
Do you want to be used by God in a mighty way? How you handle your money may be God’s test to see if you can handle greater responsibility.
Stewardship of Our Time
Three main Greek words are translated as time in the New Testament. The first is Kairos, which means a specific time, or an opportunity. Imagine a group a men sitting in a room. And one of them announces, “It’s time.” Immediately all the men stand and go to perform a certain task. That is the sense we get from kairos. It the right time to do something.
The other word is chronos. When that word is used, it refers to a passage of time. Such as, the time of our life or the time I was a young child. It can also be a shorter time, such as, “My friend was feeling sad, so I sat with him for a time.”
The final word is hora. It is the word from which the English word, hour, is derived. However, don’t make the mistake that hora means the same as hour. Hora can mean something similar, but it can also mean a season like Winter or Summer. It is basically any fixed period of time.
To be faithful stewards of the time God has given us, we must be faithful in our kairos, our chronos, and our hora. We must ready when it’s time to act lest we miss opportunities; we have to consider the time that we have been allotted by God and seek to do everything we have been given; and finally, we must guard our hours, our days, and our years that they aren’t spent foolishly and wasted.
Being a Steward of Your Health
“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?” – 1Co 6:19 NKJV
Like an astronaut in a spacesuit walking on the moon, our true selves, our spirits, are encased in our bodies. As we walk on this earth, we have to survive within our bodies and we can’t live apart from our bodies. And just as an astronaut must take care of his spacesuit, repair any rips, patch the holes, and seal the cracks, we must tend to our bodies that we can accomplish God’s will in this world.
Fortunately, our bodies are pretty good at repairing themselves if we provide them with the nutrients they need and give them the exercise to build themselves up.
We can take this to the point of being counterproductive. We can become obsessed with a few extra pounds, an ugly scar, or a large nose. This is vanity and is not what I’m talking about.
However, if we are obese, we must consider that the sin of gluttony may be the cause. Obesity can cause other trouble like diabetes, hypertension, and heart problems. Maintaining a heathy weight has advantages that prevent and cure a number of medical and psychological issues.
Our bodies need exercise to grow properly. Lack of use causes our muscles to atrophy. Muscles that are not used are prone to break down and are consumed by the body for energy. Regular exercise increases our metabolism, circulation, and brain function. That’s right, regular exercise will even make you smarter.
God has given us many precious gifts. Among them are money, time, and health. Mastering the use of these God given resources will help you gain happiness, effectiveness, and well-being. If you fail to learn how to use them, you will continue to be stuck, defeated, and ineffective.
What are your favorite books on any of these three areas of stewardship? Why did you like them? Let us know in the comments below.