“I get a lot of requests for financial help for charitable organizations,” Stan began, “especially as we get closer to the end of the year.”
Continuing, he said, “If I don’t watch it, it is way too easy for me to not give to a need that is presented by claiming I am being a good steward.”
“Isn’t being a good steward part of the whole process of being a Christian?” I responded.
“Of course,” Stan replied, “but, for me, I often find that my claiming to be a ‘good steward’ is really thinly-disguised selfishness. I would rather apply what I have to me, not to what God has for me to do.”
Continuing, he said, “And this applies whether I am talking about time, financial resources, or any other thing over which God has given me stewardship.”
“Ok,” I responded, “if you recognize that, what do you do about it?”
“I pray about it. I give the whole matter of my stewardship to the Holy Spirit to guide me. I earnestly seek His guidance in every opportunity I have to respond to a need as God would have me respond.”
Continuing, he said, “Giving, along with everything else in my life on this side of eternity, is to be defined by what Jesus said about being His disciple.”
“Which is?” I replied.
“First, deny my selfish desires that are apart from what God wants. Second, do what God has for me to do, rather than what I want to do apart from Him. Third, follow Him wherever He leads. Follow Him in every aspect of the stewardship He has for me.”
As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 1 Peter 4:10.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for all you provide for me. Everything I have, whether it is the time I have remaining on this side or eternity, the financial and physical resources you provide, or the countless other blessings you pour out on me, all is from you. You know and I know how easy it is for me to want to keep everything for me, calling it “good stewardship,” rather than blessing others in your name. Please forgive me of all of that selfishness. And please help me in truly being only the good and faithful steward you intend. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.