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Stewards Trust God's Abundance

By Michele Hermansen, 10/14/12, 4:15PM CDT

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For a number of years, our Gratitude and Vibrant Stewardship teams have strived to inspire a culture of gratitude and generosity, and share the transformational power of giving. We are expanding on that theme to incorporate all the aspects of living life as grateful and generous stewards. Each month we will go deeper into one of the six Characteristics of Vibrant Stewards, listed on the right.

A steward is “one who cares for that which belongs to another.” Believers humbly acknowledge that God is the source and owner of all that exists. Therefore, we are all stewards. What we have is not ours to do with as we wish – it is God’s. We are stewards, on behalf of God, of all that we have and all that we are. 

When we understand what stewards really are, we realize it is a way of life, not a program. 

With that background for common understanding, the first characteristic is: 

Stewards Trust God’s Abundance

We believe that we are called and freed to be caretakers of all that we are and have.  

When we trust God’s abundance, this trust transforms our lives. Abundance begins with the magnitude of God’s creation. Genesis 1:28-31 clearly describes our place in creation, and the privilege we have to care for this earth as God’s representative. The psalmist is awed at the honored place God gives us in the world as written in Psalm 8:3-9, “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers…what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them? …You have given them dominion over the works of your hands, you have put all things under their feet… Oh Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”

We embody an attitude of abundance and generosity rather than scarcity. 

The apostle Paul expressed this in 2 Corinthians 9:8. For those of us who live in America, recognizing and trusting in God’s abundance should be easy. Most of us have more than enough to meet the day’s needs. But sometimes we allow an attitude of scarcity, and the fear of insufficient resources, to overshadow the evidence of God’s abundance. 

Our consumer culture surrounds us with messages that we don’t have all we need. We are promised that products, things, experiences we buy, will make our lives more complete and happy. As a result, we can become convinced that we really don’t have enough. Lynne Twist’s book, The Soul of Money, is particularly insightful in its examination of money’s influence in our lives and the liberation we experience when we embrace life through the lens of sufficiency. The book is available in Trinity’s Library. Another good resource on this subject is the
“Share Save Spend” website
(www.sharesavespend.com).

As stewards who trust in God’s abundance, we learn that we have enough and we are enough as God created us. God’s grace is sufficient for each day. We live in gratitude and God’s abundance flows through us, expressed in generosity.

Characteristics of Vibrant Stewards

1.     Trust God’s abundance

  • a. We embody an attitude of gratitude and generosity.
  • b. We believe we are called and freed to be caretakers of all that we are and have.
     

2.    Ground ourselves in biblical and theological principles

  • a. We believe in God as creator, and Jesus as role model and redeemer.
  • b. We listen to and interpret all of scripture with an ear for stewardship themes.
     

3.    Hold a holistic perspective

  • a. We steward our whole lives including our time, energy, wisdom, bodies, money and other resources.
  • b. We integrate our faith into our whole life.
     

4.    Accept interdependence

  • a. We ground ourselves in God’s presence.
  • b. We nurture an attitude of loving kindness toward all of God’s creation.
     

5.    Promote justice

  • a. We seek to understand the impact of social systems and structures.
  • b. We align our decisions and actions to work toward universal peace and justice.
     

6.    Embrace financial health as an expression of faith

  • a. We allow money to flow to and through our lives in ways that nourish us and our world.
  • b. We recognize that our capacity to give is defined by our heart, not our pocketbook.