Stewardship – using the gifts God gives us to do the mission God is calling us to do.
After thanks, hope and self-examination, we finally arrive at the final step of stewardship – generosity - that part of stewardship in which we joyfully make our offering to God.
Generosity might seem to go without saying, however, it is not necessarily a given in stewardship; generosity, meaning more than is strictly expected or necessary. It is easy, I think, to become a steward who rather than being generous, only does what is necessary – the bare minimum. It is easy to become a steward who protectively holds on to and guards what they have – their energy, time, gifts, and treasure. However, that is not so much being a steward as being a dragon. Dragons, out of fear and greed, hoard. Stewards, in trust, use what they have been given responsibility over.
If we have any doubt about the centrality of generosity to stewardship, we need only take our cue from God. God, whose very nature is generosity. God, who from the beginning had everything, but has been freely sharing and giving away – grace – ever since. It is this God in whose image we are made.
It takes courage to be generous. However, when we follow in the footsteps of our God, when we are true to that generous and grace-filled nature at the core of our being, we find the truth in the simple words, “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). When we practice and cultivate generosity, when we practice and cultivate grace, I think that we end up receiving more than we could ask or imagine.
Thank you for your generosity. Really, thank you. I hope that together we can continue to develop habits of generosity and grace, looking to the example of our God: our ruler, our parent, and our friend.
Thanks be to God!