A Steward’s Awakening
My faith journey and involvement in the local church has been filled with many defining moments that have shaped my relationship with Christ, especially my understanding of what it means to be His steward.
I came to Christ when I was 15, and as a young believer I desired to serve God, join His work around the world, and help those in need; however, in my early adult years, I attempted to accomplish these goals through my own wisdom and abilities. As I became shackled by my debts from school loans and failed business attempts, God put opportunities in my path to join Him, but I was so enslaved to my creditors I could not respond to His invitations.
Out of frustration with my own walk with Christ and lack of life-changing obedience, I began to earnestly study scripture to see how God intended for me to deal with money, possessions, people, and His creation. This study led me to understand, as a follower of Christ, I do not own anything; I am merely a manager, entrusted with the care of what Jesus asks me to use for Him. The freedom and excitement my wife and I discovered compelled us to absorb everything we could about biblical stewardship and generosity.
As my wife and I committed ourselves to living as stewards instead of owners, we immersed ourselves in scripture and books such as Randy Alcorn’s Money, Possessions, and Eternity and The Treasure Principle, Crown’s Biblical Financial Study, and other excellent materials. These were often simple, basic truths, but somehow in my early life as a disciple I had missed the profound simplicity that God owns everything.
I believe God speaks of money and possessions in the scriptures as much as He does because we have such a hard time living with open hands. As I reflect on my faith walk, I think I rarely lived the life abundant because I did not have stewardship and generosity at my core. The crucial shift for me was recognizing I am a caretaker of God’s possessions; I am not the owner. It was easy for me to acknowledge those thoughts in words, but a missing component was putting some real mechanisms in place to live it out day by day.
One of those mechanisms is to be around people who push me to be a better steward, which I have found in some dear friends. Some of those friends are part of my church, but most are scattered all around the world. They are an incredible part of my race with Christ and there is little chance I can be the steward Jesus wants me to be without their love for me and my family.
Do you have people in your life who can help you grow as a steward?
–Howard Rich, CFO.
Previously published on Higher Thinking, a blog for Christian Leadership Alliance
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