The Stewardship Mind
“His master said to him, “Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things. I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.” (Matthew 25:23)
It is time to think about stewardship again. As we have a new year, let us plan to make a resolution in a stewardship mind so that we may become better equipped to fulfill our calling as the people of God. In the beginning, God created humankind in his image. God blessed them, and God said to them, “be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it” (Genesis 1:27-28). God created us to care for all things given from God, including animals, plants, our loved ones, and ourselves to make them multiply. The word “multiply” may apply for not only “number” and “quantity”, but also “quality.” So, we have a task to make the things multiply in number, quantity and quality. As God cares for us with steadfast love, we should care for all things with love. That is stewardship. It includes feeding your family good nutrition, giving your children an education, feeding and caring for your companions, and taking care of yourselves physically and spiritually. How did you practice your stewardship this year?
As many of you know, I love plants; I enjoy gardening from spring to fall and raising some house plants during the winter. One of the reasons I enjoy gardening or growing plants is to remind me of how God cares for us (me) through caring for the plants. In other words, I learn the wisdom of ministry through the experience. It is a means of grace for me. If I didn’t give them water regularly, they would begin to wilt. If I am away for more than one week, they become dry, brown, and brittle. After I am back, I care for them, giving them water and putting them in the sunshine. They become vitalized again. We should intentionally take care of all things given by God. Otherwise, we may lose our stewardship mind. A steward mind is a tool for connecting with God because it relates to your spirit and faith in God.
Sometimes we complain about what we have rather than giving thanks for it. I often think of the one who received one talent rather than those who received two or five talents in the parable story of talents (Matthew 25:14-30). I often think about why the master gave each of them a different number of talents. I used to think throughout the story that it was unfair of God because the master gave one five talents, the other two talents, and another one talent. Those who received two and five talents worked diligently and made them double, but those who received one didn’t work at all, keeping one talent the same as he received from his master. And then, the master took his one talent to give it to those with ten talents. It didn’t seem fair. If the master gave them the same amount, one talent or five talents, is it the same situation? The one who received one talent might not be in a good mood to work because he might see others who received more than him. But then I found what I missed. The master gave them each according to “his ability.” If the one who received one talent works diligently and makes it double like the others, he may have another chance to work and enjoy his master’s joy. I learned that we should know and accept our ability given by God. It is an opportunity to extend your ability if you have one talent.
Likewise, if our church is smaller than others, it is a chance to extend our ministerial work. Even though it goes slowly, our ability must become double and double. Finally, God may give us more people and resources to multiply in number, quantity and quality. So, let’s go forward with hope this year. Let’s be ready to receive more from God! God may say to us, “Well done, my faithful stewards. You have been trustworthy in a few things. I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.”