On Stewardship and the Orthodox Life - Part 148: Why Should I be a Good Steward? (5/28/17)

“One man gives freely, yet grows all the richer: another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.” (Proverbs 11:24 RSV)

 I hear this question all the time, “Why should I be a good steward?”  My answer usually is, “Why shouldn’t you be a good steward?”  It is about this time that I receive a stern and sarcastic look!  Each week this blog is written to help you understand just how important stewardship is to your salvation.  There have to date been 147 blogs giving you and at least 147 reasons to be a good steward.  Let me approached this a little differently this time using three quotes from the scripture.

  1. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
  2. John 13:34, “A new commandment I give you ‘that you are to love one another as I have loved you.  By this all will know that you are my disciples.”
  3. Matthew 25:14, the parable of the Talents.

So there it is, your salvation wrapped up in three quotes from scripture.  Let’s look again at what these say and how to apply them.

In John 3:16, we learn that we shall live forever.  You cannot say that you don’t want to live forever, it has been decided by Christ.  You will live forever.  Two points to bear in mind here, the first is that forever is a long, long time.  We have lived a very short life here on earth compared to the relatively long time we will live after the second coming of Christ.  The second point is that God has given you free choice as to whether or not you want to enjoy eternity, smoking or non-smoking!

In Matthew 25:14, we hear the parable of the talents (gifts).  God gives us gifts much like the talents the Master (God) gave his three stewards.  Two of the stewards took the gifts that the Master had given them using them in such a way as to bring increase to the Master.  These two were reward with stewardship over even more (Kingdom of Heaven).  The thirds steward did nothing with his talent and received his reward of being placed as a slave (Gehenna).  The point being that God intends you to use the gifts He has given you to aid you in reaching Theosis as well as helping others in their journey, thereby returning to God with increase.

John 13:34 tells you that you should be “in communion” with God and with each other.  As images of God you are to know yourself as a person in communion with God and with others.  The Trinity knows themselves as persons in communion and you being in the image of God must know yourself as a person in communion.  The Trinity shares a kenotic, self-emptying, love that is unlike the love that we know.  We are to obtain that kenotic love on our journey to Theosis by developing and maturing into the “likeness of God.”  Without stewardship, without the sharing of the gifts God has given us, we will never experience the kenotic love necessary to be “in communion.”  Thus our salvation will be in jeopardy.

It is never too late to start.  Start today and return in proportion to what God has given you!

This weekly series of brief thoughts on stewardship and Orthodox life is brought to you by your Diocesan Stewardship Commission.

Mark Your Calendar Now for the 2nd annual Stewardship Retreat will be held September 22-24, 2017.

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