Do you realize the difference between ownership & stewardship?


Ownership:

  1. right of possession: the legal right of possessing something
  2. fact or state of owning something: the fact or condition of being an owner of something

Synonyms: possession, rights, tenure, proprietorship, title

Stewardship:

  1. plane or ship attendant: somebody who attends to passengers on an aircraft or ship, or manages provisions and dining aboard a ship
  2. property manager: somebody who manages somebody else’s property, finances, or household
  3. hotel or club manager: somebody who manages arrangements concerning meals or lodging at a hotel, club, college, or other establishment

Synonyms: bailiff, agent, factor, estate manager, overseer, land agent

(definitions provided by Bing.com)


The Bible teaches us that

1The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him. – Psalms 24:1

so we own nothing. God provides for each of us and put the stewardship or responsibility for taking care of it in our hands. As we read in Luke 16that speaks of a shrewd manager and in 1 Corinthians we read:

2Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful. – 2 Corinthians 4:2

Matthew 25 tells of the good and faithful servant in the parable of the 3 servants where two of the servants put what they were given to work and heard from their master:

21“The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together! – Matthew 25:21

and

23“The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’ – Matthew 25:23

and to the one who didn’t heard:

26“But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! If you knew I harvested crops I didn’t plant and gathered crops I didn’t cultivate,27why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’ – Matthew 25:26-27

God’s Word teach us that if we will be faithful with what God has given us that we will be reward. Matthew 25 completes the parable with this message for us to receive and put ourselves to the challenge.

29To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. – Matthew 25:29

We see this theme today in TGIF by Os Hillman

Resolving the Ownership Issue

“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for He founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.” – Psalm 24:1-2

We learn in today’s devotional about some of the challenges of being a workplace believer, especially when it comes to remembering that everything is God’s and everything we receive comes from Him.

“…because, if we work hard at business, we receive all the benefits of that work. It appears as though all that we have achieved was through our hand. Yet God says that it is by His hand that we are able to make wealth (see Deut. 8). He is the source of that ability. As soon as we become owners and not managers, we fall into trouble with God. ” – Os Hillman

Success can be something very challenging to be able to handle. As we read into today’s devotional Joseph is special and even though he was only 30 years old, he was able to be a steward of all the resources of Egypt by the grace of God. We read in the Bible many stories where people were able to start good but then with success, fame, fortune, we see them fall. We need to make sure that we are living a life that glorifies God from beginning till the end, if we have a little or we have a lot. Don’t make it all about you. Don’t allow pride to derail you and ruin your future. God’s Word tells us that:

18Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall. – Proverbs 16:18

Another great quote by Os on this subject is:

“Not every man can carry a full cup. Sudden elevation frequently leads to pride and a fall. The most exacting test of all to survive is prosperity” – Oswald Chambers

Consider what you have. Consider what you will do with it. Bring it all to God and allow Him to be the owner of it all. And watch what He can and will do with it all.

Consider giving your talents, your efforts, your relationships, your life, your family all up God as an incredible offering with praise and thanksgiving. We know God has it all so it isn’t out of His need we should be giving and living, but it is out of our love and praise for Him.

Fearful to Fearless

365 Fear Nots: Verse Of The Day 

Who considers the power of your anger, and your wrath according to the fear of you? – Psalm 90:11 (ESV)

Biblical Truth:

Your power is so great! We cannot even comprehend it! Let our worship be an acceptable offering to You Lord, even though you deserve so much more.


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all that will be in it. I praise You Lord for the incredible love and faithfulness that You provide me. I praise You Lord for preparing in advance the work I am to do so that I am able to follow after You while having the confidence that You have my back and are walking every step of the way beside me. Lord, I praise You for the relationships in my life, with You, with my wife, with my kids, with my extended family, , with my pastors and brothers and sisters in Christ, with my friends and co-worker, and every other relationship that will and is planned to enter into my life. Lord, thank You for giving me eyes to see things that were hidden before. Thank You for being my eyes, my ears, my courage, my strength, my
hope, my Lord, and my God. My life hasn’t been the same since I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior. You multiply my time and bless me with a life that is full of love. Thank You for such incredible relationships and for a loving home with my wife and kids. Lord, as I prepare for this day, may every thought, every word, and every action bring You praise, honor, and glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Today’s Reading…

Discipleship Journal’s Book-at-a-Time Reading Plan

2 thoughts on “Do you realize the difference between ownership & stewardship?

  1. Hi there,

    I have been thinking about ownership vs. stewardship for some time now, and while it may be theologically compelling to shift ownership to a higher power in order to encourage humanity to take responsibility as stewards of the planet, it does not eliminate the problem, as ownership is still maintained as a core value. This sort of situation will inevitably lead to the sort of inter-religious strife that the Crusades were made of: my God owns the planet and as their steward I am bestowed the right to take. use, destroy, exploit as I see fit through the needs of people who share my doctrine. To achieve true stewardship one must abandon the principle of ownership entirely (even shifting ownership to something as general as ‘the future’ still leads to these sort of issues as inevitably there will be contention as to what view of the future–which is completely fictional as it can be no better than an educated guess–must be adhered to, and what consequences are then available to those who maintain that vision).

    I note that you used Bing to find your definition of ‘stewardship,’ and that your result was a very narrow and misleading idea that was expressed only in terms of a kind of job. Stewardship is much more than that: is an ethic that embodies the responsible planning and management of resources. The concept of stewardship can be applied to the environment and nature, economics, health, property, information, theology (you have outlined the theological application, but nothing further), etc. It is where resources and ethics meet and hopefully result in sustainability. It is, in and of itself, a way of life, of presencing oneself within the complex web of connections that life on this planet represents, and achieving balance and harmony within it. I have deep respect for spiritual people, but I do find that the theological use of ‘stewardship’ is far too narrow as it hinges more on an implied (or perhaps imposed) motivation for taking on stewardship, without really focusing on what that means, or how to successfully do so.

    Just a few thoughts I have been chewing over. This is an enormous topic for discussion and one that I expect will become very important for the next couple of generations.

    Peace be with you,

    Rob Martin

    Like

    1. Thanks Rob for your thoughtful comments. Stewardship is so key to all areas of our life. The picture that comes to mind is a clenched fist which not only keeps what is in it but prevents anything from being added or exchanged. Blessings and thanks again for the comment.

      Like

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