Devotional from Andy Stammis

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“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10

Some Middle Eastern countries have a unique viewpoint on God’s authority. They consider it an absolute that should not be contended with in any regard whatsoever. On paper, this seems acceptable. These countries, however, take it to another level. For instance, a man will drive without his seatbelt on claiming, “If it is God’s will that I die in a car accident, who am I to oppose Him?” These people would say that to wear a seatbelt is to stand in rebellion against God, rejecting His authority.

This is an interesting philosophy; if we understand that God is in control of all things, why do we bother spending any time or effort tending to our health and personal affairs? The answer lies in our job. No, not our careers, the job God has given us as His followers. We are stewards of His creation. Nothing we have belongs to us; it all belongs God, and God has put us in charge of taking care of it. It is God’s money, it is God’s body, it is God’s house, it is God’s church, etc. Therefore, if we were to flippantly disregard that of which He has put us in charge, whilst saying “Jesus take the wheel,” or “Let go and let God,” we would be poor stewards. These are not bad sayings, but they become bad when we use them to justify irresponsibility.

If the God of all creation gives us a job, it seems obvious that we are incentivized to give it everything we’ve got. This leads us to the question: How can I best be a steward of God’s creation? It may help to rephrase the question: How can I best be in charge of God’s stuff? Imagine leaving the keys to your house to someone. How would you want them to behave? How wouldn’t you want them to behave? Suppose you come back to your house, and the person with whom you left your house says, “What are you doing at my house?” Just as your house does not belong to that person, your life does not belong to you.

Another way to consider it is taking a loan from a bank. When you receive the money, you can spend it however you choose as if it were your money. However, it is not your money: it is the bank’s money. The banker would not be happy to find out you squandered it. The banker would much rather have you be responsible, or as Peter puts it, “faithful”.

Good stewards recognize that what they look after does not belong to them, understanding that they are not the highest authority. But good stewards also use the authority they have been given to tend to their lot. As stewards of God’s grace, we should give our all to serve and love others.