The story is told of an elderly woman named Mary.
One day, she was in a church and they are about to give an offering. However, Mary suddenly fainted and struck her head on the end of the chair. 911 was called.
The early medical team assessed Mary and they saw that she has a severe injury – an injury that could lead to her instant death.
The team immediately strapped her to a stretcher and got ready to head out the door. Just then, Mary regained consciousness and with all remaining strength that she has, Mary called for her daughter.
Everyone thought that this might be her final words and perhaps, she’s going to tell her daughter her last wishes.
The daughter leaned over until her ear was at her mother’s mouth.
Do you know what was her final words? She said, “My offering is in my purse.”
While she was on her deathbed/stretcher, while she was on the brink of death, all she still thinks about was to be sure that her offering would be included in the collection.
Brethren, whether this story is true or not, it illustrates something that most of us should aim for. We must all have the heart of a good steward.
That’s my main point today, brethren. We must be good stewards.
But how? I want to present to you three effective ways on how to be a good steward.
Point no. 1: Realize that God owns everything
The Bible tells us that God owns everything. David declared in Psalm 24:1:
The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness,
The world and those who dwell therein.
For He has founded it upon the seas,
And established it upon the waters.
Psalm 50:10-12 add:
For every beast of the forest is Mine,
And the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know all the birds of the mountains,
And the wild beasts of the field are Mine.
If I were hungry, I would not tell you;
For the world is Mine, and all its fullness.
It should be clear by now that it is God who owns everything.
However, how often are we plagued with the mentality, “what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine.”
Let’s be honest, we all have that kind of mentality when it comes to our possession.
All too often, we think that we own what we own.
Well, the house title is named after me.
The car title is named after me.
The electric bill and water bill got my name on it.
The bank account is named after me.
I am the one who owns them.
But here’s flash news in case you have missed it:
It’s not yours.
God owns everything.
And you know what it makes of you? You are a steward.
God is the owner.
You are the steward.
What’s a steward? A steward is someone who manages something for someone else.
In the Bible, the Greek word for Steward is oikonomos, which means “a house distributor (that is, manager), or overseer, that is, an employee in that capacity; by extension a fiscal agent (treasurer); chamberlain, governor, steward.”
As you can see, brethren, as stewards, we really don’t own anything.
All that we are and all that we have, including our lives, our money, our possession, our time, and our relationship, they all belong to God.
Having this attitude should help you understand that giving what you have is actually simply just giving back what is lent to you.
It is not yours in the first place, but God has used you to be a channel of blessing to others.
Point no. 2: Increase what you have been given
God, in His great mercy and love, gave us the things that we need.
He gives us everything, including the desires of our hearts.
However, we have the responsibility to not only take care of what has been given us, but we must ensure that we are able to increase them.
One of the most familiar parables in the Bible is the Parable of the Talent (Matthew 25:14-30). The parable is about a man who gives a certain portion of talents to his three servants. The first two servants were able to increase the talents that were given to them.
However, what happens to the third servant? He was afraid and instead of increasing his talents, he simply hid the talent.
It didn’t produce anything.
As a result, what was the frightening pronouncement of their master? We read, “You wicked and lazy servant” (verse 26).
God has given us talents. Now, this talent isn’t simply our talent in singing, dancing, or whatever. It is also speaking about our resources, our material wealth, our education, knowledge, and skills.
There’s a purpose why God has given us what we have right now. Don’t waste what God has given you.
Make sure you do your best to increase what God has given you. As good stewards, we have the responsibility to manage and handle our resources so we can earn a profit.
If we are able to increase our possession and wealth, brethren, what then should we do?
We shall be a more effective source of blessing.
We can share more and give more.
That’s the reason that we must not be lazy, but rather be diligent in whatever job we handle.
This post originally appeared on BecomingChristians.com and was republished with permission. The article was written by Joshua Infantado.