September 15, 2021 — Is that Stewardship or Selfishness?

“Last Sunday at church,” I mentioned one morning, “the pastor presented a special financial need about a couple of people who are planning a short-term mission trip. They need to raise some more money before they will be able to go.”

“That’s great,” Stan replied. “The church needs people who are willing to go and do what Jesus said to do — make disciples.”

“I believe that,” I said, “but I have to admit something that crossed my mind when the need was presented.”

“What’ that?” Stan asked.

“There can be a fine line between being a good steward and being selfish,” I replied.

“In what way?” Stan asked.

“I’ve been saving some money each month to buy something I have really been looking forward to having,” I said. “The amount I have saved is almost exactly what these people need for their mission trip. When the need was presented, my first thought was about the money I have saved.”

“And did you have a second thought?” Stan asked.

“I did,” I replied. “I thought about how I had been such a good steward in saving for what I wanted, rather than buying it on credit. Then there was a third thought, one I think came directly from the Holy Spirit.”

“What was that?” Stan asked.

“The fine line,” I said.

“Between stewardship and selfishness?”

“That’s it,” I replied. “And it became very clear to me that God had led me to save the money I had saved, not for myself, but for what He is going to accomplish through those people going on the mission trip.  If God wants me to have what I was saving for, He will provide it. If He doesn’t, it’s not that important!”

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Bible verses to consider:

Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33.

Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for body discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 1 Timothy 4:7-8.

Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? Romans 10:13-15.

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for all you have provided, the blessings of life eternally with you when it’s time, along with the eternal life of knowing you and Jesus in an ever-deepening personal relationship before then. Thank you, too, for all you provide with material blessings. I confess that too often I selfishly keep for myself what you provide rather than being the steward you intend and making available to others what you have provided. Please forgive that foolish selfishness, and please help me in following every step of your lead so I am only the steward you intend in all things. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: Do you agree that there can be a fine line between stewardship and selfishness? Why or why not? Does stewardship only pertain to physical things  — or are we intended to be good stewards of all that God provides, including spiritual blessings? If stewardship includes all of God’s blessings, how are you doing with that stewardship? As well as you would like? As well as God would like? If you sense the need for changing from selfishness to stewardship, how is that going to happen?

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