Everything we have been given is a gift. Everything. This includes the car you’re driving, the house you live in, the job you have and the family you were born into. God was purposeful in placing you in this time and in these circumstances.
The dictionary tells us a steward is “a person who manages another’s property or financial affairs.” In the parable of the talents, a man asks three servants to steward his property. Each one responds to this call according to his character. Two servants increase their master’s investment, bringing him greater wealth and honor, and the master rewards them for their faithfulness. But one servant acts foolishly and hides the master’s money. He is rebuked and punished. The little he was entrusted with is taken back, and he is abandoned.
Stewardship takes the idea that everything we have is a gift to its logical conclusion. If all that I am and all that I have is from God, then how should I care for and use it? Psalm 24:1 says, “[t]he earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it.” Therefore, I ought to consider why God gave me what I have and use it to those ends. We have been given body, knowledge, resources and relationships, not to squander as we wish, but to glorify God. “For in him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).
How do I spend wealth so it honors God? How do I steward friendships? How do I take care of the body He gave me to be His temple? How do I use knowledge and education in the best way possible? We do all of these things by seeking God’s will in every decision, reading his Word and listening to the Holy Spirit. We do this by acting generously and obediently, ethically and morally.