If you searched online you will have discovered that there is a lot out there related to stewardship. Product stewardship, environmental stewardship, agricultural stewardship and stewardship related to faith. As we think about stewardship in relationship to Lent perhaps you have one of two reactions:
(1) I’ll only be aware of how much needs to change and how hard that is going to be! or (2) I love this sort of stuff and like to be better organised.
Most of us probably fall into category (1) and if you fall into category (2), we need to learn from you!! But for those of us who fall into the first category, maybe we have thoughts like this related to “stewardship”: I really need to change my eating habits; I’m spending way too much on junk food; I’m going to have to be more disciplined and that’s going to be hard; I don’t have time to consider it, I’m already too busy as it is trying to keep up with everything else in my life!
Years ago I read a book called “Too busy not to pray” and it began a change in my life! I don’t remember much of the content of it as it was about 20+ years ago that I read it. However, what stuck in my mind was the truth that if I didn’t build my life centred on prayer then my priorities were going to be built on something else other than God. And this been really true of my experience as a follower of Christ.
So if stewardship is about anything, it’s about the willingness to ask ourselves the hard questions and allow the God of love to show us how to surrender to His will and His way. Changing patterns of behaviour isn’t going to happen over night but by the grace of God and our willingness to be open to God and often to others, change can and does happen.
So here are some questions you could ask yourself as you consider stewardship:
How do I steward my life, my time, my money? What matters to me? What are my values? How do I live out these values in action?
Try to be really specific and as honest as possible and notice what you put in and what gets left out e.g. what values relate to family and/or relationships? What values are connected to faith and spirituality? To money and spending? To time management and recreation? To caring for our body in relationship to food or exercise? etc.
The reason it is important to write about how our particular values get lived out concretely is because if they aren’t active then we don’t really have them as a value, they are really just good intentions. And it is important to really differentiate between what current values we live out and what ones we don’t. This is where being honest with ourselves and God can be really illuminating.
After you have done this, rather than coming up with a list of things that need to change, ask God to show you what he loves about you FIRST and what He wants to help you steward better and then take small baby steps….
For other helpful ideas click here