Ten years ago this week I wrote about our need to think more seriously concerning stewardship in the coming year. The need continues a decade later. Even more things compete for our time, our money, and our attention than they did a few short years ago. We need to determine what is really important in our lives and use our resources wisely. What will actually matter in eternity? What does God really value? What should be our true, God-honoring priorities? These are all questions we need to ask and answer. What do you truly value the most?
Allen Raynor Weblog: “How Value Determines Stewardship”
(Dec. 26, 2007)
What gives anything its value? Who determines what gold, silver, diamonds, pearls or other jewels are worth? What about other possessions of ours? Your photo albums may not hardly bring 25 cents at a yard sale but to you they are priceless. Your home may be a bit run down and nothing too special at all to a realtor or would-be buyer but to you it is where you spent many Christmas times together with your family and, of course, there is the door facing with the markings signifying little Johnny and Suzie’s growth.
Even precious metals and jewels are only worth what someone will pay. If people quit buying gold, the price would drop significantly. What is of great worth to you? Some have, in essence, sold their soul for various things. It could be wealth, fame, influence or a number of other things. The truth is that people place a high value on the things they pursue.
The value we place on things or people determines our level of stewardship where they are concerned. A steward is really nothing more than a manager of something or someone. A “Stewardess,” for instance, or as we know them better today as “flight attendants,” have the task of managing persons on an airplane flight. The airlines have determined that the customers have enough value they should take good care of them so they might just show up on another flight later on!
Christians are taught in God’s word to be good stewards over all God has given to their charge. If you wonder what qualifies, the answer is everything! We should be good stewards of the earth or environment, our own health and even the health of others where we can, our families, our churches, every position we have, and the list goes on.
One common mistake we make is in thinking that what we possess is ours. When we start to think that way the value goes down in our mind. It is one thing to back into a light pole, but it is another thing to back into the same light pole in your friend’s car! How about this; it is one thing to rip a dollar bill to shreds but it is another thing to rip to shreds a hundred dollar bill, even though they look exactly the same to a blind man! The difference is the value we or someone else assign to something.
How much is your Bible worth? How much is your church worth? How much is your pastor worth? How much is your prayer life worth to you? The answer to each of these questions is not determined by but rather revealed through our behavior. We may claim great value, however there is no evidence. When we stand before God in judgment, I am afraid there is going to be a lot of awkward silence and heads hanging low!
As we enter into a new year it is a great time to become a better steward of what you have been given charge over. Men, you need to be better men because you value your wife and family. Women you need to be better women because you value your family and because God expects it. Children and teens you need to be better stewards of your lives and not engage in things that will hurt or even kill you, whether you’ve figured that out yet or not. Church members you need to be better stewards of the church God has given you. You are stewards of the lost people all around you. How much do you value them? Your stewardship will reveal the value you place on these people/things. How important is money to you? You say, “not that important.” Well, it is important to God so maybe you need to give more to Him. Unfortunately when stewardship is mentioned, money is often the first thing which comes to mind, however it is only one of many things, but still yet important.
In the coming year let us try and set some specific stewardship goals for ourselves in several specific different areas. We will never get there unless we plan! What do you value, and how much?
Dr. Allen Raynor, Pastor