What It Means to Be a Faithful Steward

A Light Reflection Daily Devotional

Faithful Steward
Photo Source: Pixabay / Composition: Sue Chastain

1 Corinthians 4:1-2
Let a man so consider us as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. (NKJV)

Good and Faithful Stewardship

One of the best things about reading the Bible regularly and completely is that it allows you to see common verses in a different light. Many of these verses take on their proper meaning when they are read in context.

The verse above is one such example.

Good stewardship is something we hear about often, and most of the time it is thought of in terms of finances and being a good steward of financial resources. Obviously, it is important to be a faithful steward with everything God has given us, including finances. But that isn't what the verse above is referencing.

The Apostle Paul and Apollos were given a gift and calling from the Lord. The New Living Translation states that they were in charge of "explaining God's secrets." Paul makes it clear that faithfulness in that calling was not an option; it was a requirement. Using the gift God gave him was good stewardship. The same is true for us.

Paul was called to be a servant of Christ. All believers share this calling, but especially Christian leaders. When Paul used the term steward, he referred to a high-ranking servant who was entrusted with the oversight of a household.

Stewards were responsible for managing and distributing household resources. God has called church leaders to explain the secret mysteries of God to the household of faith:

The term mysteries describes the redemptive grace of God kept secret for a long time, but finally revealed in Christ. God commissions church leaders to bring this great treasure of revelation to the church.

What Is Your Gift?

We need to stop and consider if we as servants of God are using our gifts in ways that please and honor him. This is a hard question to ask if you don't know what God has gifted you to do.

If you are uncertain, here is a suggestion: Ask God to show what he's gifted you to do. In James 1:5, we're told:

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. (James 1:5, ESV)

So, asking for clarity is the first step. God has given his people spiritual gifts and motivation gifts. The spiritual gifts can be found and studied in the following passages of Scripture:

  • Romans 12:6-8
  • 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 28-31
  • Ephesians 4:7-13
  • 1 Peter 4:10

If you are still uncertain, a book such as Cure for the Common Life by Max Lucado may help you see your gifts more clearly.

Are You Using Your Gift?

If you know what your gifts are, you need to ask yourself if you are using these gifts God has given you, or if they are just wasting away. Are you, by chance, withholding something that could be a blessing to others in the body of Christ?

In my life, writing is one example. For years I knew that I was supposed to do it, but for reasons such as fear, laziness, and busyness, I avoided it.

The fact that you are reading this means that I am using that gift now. That's as it should be.

If you are using your gifts, the next thing to look at is your motive. Are you using your gifts in ways that please and honor the Lord? It's possible to use our gifts, but to do so in a sloppy, uncaring manner. Or, it is possible to use them well, but to do so out of pride. The gifts God has entrusted us with should be used with excellence and with pure motives, so that God is the one glorified. That, my friend, is good stewardship!

Source

  • Pratt, R. L., Jr. (2000). I & II Corinthians (Vol. 7, p. 60). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

Rebecca Livermore is a freelance writer, speaker and contributor for About.com. Her passion is helping people grow in Christ. She is the author of the weekly devotional column Relevant Reflections on www.studylight.org and is a part-time staff writer for Memorize Truth (www.memorizetruth.com).