October 22

WHAT IS TRUE STEWARDSHIP?

Scripture for the Day: You have been bought with a price…
I Corinthians 7:23a

The subject of “stewardship” comes up off and on in church, frequently with regard to how much money a member ought to give. But stewardship can be the category under which all of our resources come under scrutiny. There is no doubt that as redeemed people, we are not our own. From the moment we trust Christ as Savior, our decisions are made in the light of whose we are. When the Apostle Paul was writing to the Corinthians in chapter 7, he believed that Jesus was coming back in his lifetime, so he counseled people to remain in whatever state they were: if married, remain so, but if single, they were advised to remain single. It is generally true that single people are freer than married ones to serve the Lord wholeheartedly simply from the standpoint of time to give. But if everyone had taken this counsel as a doctrine for all time and all people, we obviously wouldn’t be here to talk about it!

So we are back to the issue behind the issue. How do we look at a sentence from the Scriptures and know how to follow it, how to teach it? This is one more example of why it is so vital to examine the Scriptures wisely. Generally, we look at any literature for the plain meaning first. Then, we look around before and after to understand the general context. Not only what are the words but what was happening to instigate the words? Paul was not dealing with money but the stewardship of our bodies and even our very lives.

Eugene Peterson, the translator of The Message, a modern paraphrase of the Bible, said it this way. “Use your head and use your heart.” That’s a pretty good rule, I think.