Owners or Stewards?

“Moreover it is required of a steward that one be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:3). What is the trouble with thinking of ourselves as owners and possessors: I – my – mine? It is hard and ill-advised to walk with your eyes focused on your own feet. I asked a student if she was the source of her own life; she said, “Yes.” The answer seemed as obvious to her as the question seemed dumb.

Then I asked her if she made the sunshine or the world turn or the plants grow or her heart beat. She said, “No.”

Since we are not the source of our own life, what is the use of claiming so much as our own? Like the person drowning, who is grasping for and clinging to anything and everything that might keep him from sinking, so the corruption in our human nature makes us hyper-possessive, which is where wars and fighting come from (James 4).

God has raised us up above all this. God has regenerated our souls by means of living water, the Word and Spirit of God. We are no longer at risk of sinking beneath the waters and dying; rather we walk on water – we live upon and are supported by the promises/providence of God for us as we walk about, reaching out to others to help them up from whatever kind of dying they are sinking into.

We are not the source of our own life; rather, God is. Since God is the source of our life we need not fear losing it. Our own person, our regenerate soul, our body, His Spirit in us, our time, our place, and all that we have belongs to God. What a relief! We are stewards, caretakers of the life God provides for us. We no longer live under the threat of losing our life but rather discovering it as we apply and invest our lives for the sake of others. “Look Master, what You have given me has gained more!” (Luke 19).

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