As you look at this drawing, can you see two women, one old and one young? Which do you see first? Psychologists use this image to help illustrate the idea that our “readiness to see objects in a particular way is based on our expectations, experiences, emotions, and assumptions.” Do we want/expect to see the young woman? Then it’s probably hard to see the old woman – and vice versa.
In some ways, Christian stewardship operates the same. As we go through life, what do our expectations, experiences, emotions, and assumptions lead us to see as we view the world and the life we live in it? Do we see God in all parts of our lives? If so, how do we respond? This is the core of stewardship.
Psalm 24: 1 says: “The earth is the LORD’S, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it.” The Psalmist is reminding us of a simple truth- everything we are; everything we enjoy and have is from the heart of God. Paul reminds us of this same truth in 1 Corinthians 10. In both places, followers of Christ are being encouraged to shape the life they live by this truth.
Placing stewardship in this truth, one writer defined stewardship in this way: “Christian stewards are those who awaken to God’s abundant, freely given grace permeating all creation. As expressions of their awareness, stewards choose to enter into active partnership with God. As stewards grow in this partnership, every dimension of their lives becomes a witness of the living Christ and a channel for God’s grace poured out to all.”
A recent study found that people who did this every day were not only happier and more satisfied with life, they got more sleep and felt more refreshed when they woke up. Take a guess as to what they were doing: a. showering b. jumping rope c. were served breakfast in bed d. keeping a journal of 5 things they were grateful for.
The answer is “d.” It seems that modern science has discovered what God has been proclaiming all along: those who see life as “gift” experience peace and joy in their lives. And Christian stewards also discover that a life filled with so many gifts requires giving.
My prayer for you as you continue this journey of faith is that God will enable you to begin to see the gift of life He is providing for you. And in response, I pray you will find ways to give your life and resources to His work.