To Be A Steward

It struck me recently that being a steward, far from being a demeaning title that serves to remind us that we are living on someone else’s property, is actually a reminder of the exalted state for which we were made. God designed us to have our habitation in Him, and so, the only path toward human flourishing is to intimately find our all in His fullness. When the reality that we were made to be partakers of the divine nature, that through Christ we are full sons of God, when this reality gets a hold of our hearts and imaginations, then we are free to enjoy all things. We will be free to enjoy all things because we will be relating to them from a position of fullness, and thus we will not look to things to provide satisfaction or security. This is what it means to be a steward.

2 Responses to “To Be A Steward”

  1. K.L.B.  

    Steward… when I read that word I think of a wine steward, also known as a sommelier, which is the French for “one whom carries,” and is derived from the Middle French and Old French “sommier” meaning a person (presumably male) whom is charged with transporting things.

    Similar relations exist with the word “sumpter,” which dates to 1320, and refers to a driver of a pack horse (think Ft. Sumpter, SC) and derives from the Vulgar Latin “sagmatrius.”

    It has further roots in the Late Latin and Greek “sagma” which is the verb meaning “to burden,” as in ‘beast of burden,’ colloquially known as ‘pack animals.’

    Today, we know those animals as mules, donkeys and horses.

    The sense of the word “steward” as meaning or referring to one whom oversees, is attested c.1300. It has come to mean a person of some estate, insofar as they are a “house guardian” for royalty, typically their employer.

  2. K.L.B.  

    This evening we discussed two chapters… well, one really, then had lectio divina.

    Chapter 34 was “Tenth Commandment: Embrace Poverty of Spirit,” in USCCA (Catechism). Pages 450-54 discuss stewardship.

    I’d like to share some material from those pages as they relate to your entry.

    As Christian stewards, we receive God’s gifts gratefully, cultivate them responsibly, share them lovingly in justice with others, and return them with increase to the Lord.” ref: 1 Peter 4:10

    The categories are Disciples as Stewards, Stewards of Creation, Stewards of Vocation, Stewards of the Church, Obstacles of Stewardship, A Steward’s Way. (I’ll take “Obstacles of Stewardship” for 100, Alex.)

    We are grateful for the gifts we have received and are eager to use them to show our love for God and for one another. We look to the life and teaching of Jesus for guidance in living as Christian stewards.

    “God created the world, but entrusts it to human beings. Caring for and cultivating the world involves the following: Joyful appreciation for… Protection and preservation… Respect for human life… Development of the world through noble human effort… work…

    God intends each one of us to play a unique role in carrying out the divine plan. The challenge, then, is to understand our role – our vocation – and to respond generously to this call from God. Christ calls us to be stewards of our personal vocations, which we receive from God.

    Stewards of God’s gifts are not passive beneficiaries. We cooperate with God in our own redemption and in the redemption of others.”

    In the United States and other nations, a dominant secular culture often contradicts religious convictions about the meaning of life. This culture frequently encourages us to focus on ourselves and our pleasures. At times, we can find it far too easy to ignore spiritual realities and to deny religion a role in shaping human social values.

    The life of a Christian steward models the life of Jesus. It is challenging and even difficult in many respects, yet intense joy come to those who take the risk to live as Christian stewards. Women and men who seek to live as stewards learn that “all things work for good for those who love God” (Rom 8:28).