Stewardship of anything – life, money, possessions, home or community – reflects an understanding of personal responsibility to cooperate with the Lord’s plan and specifically, with His lordship. We see the way some people steward what they have and wonder how they get away with it. And, to be honest, since all we are and have is given by God to complete our calling and mission assignment, we should also admit that observers of our own stewardship of the endowment could question how we justify what clearly is the squandering of our gift(s).
The physical body, for example, is a gift from God. Anyone refusing to make healthy food choices or reduce portion size, or refuses to feed oxygen and nutrients to the body through the discipline of exercise obviously believes negligence is okay. So, again, if we’re honest, from a stewardship perspective, it’s easy to see that people most often are in the condition they’re in because it’s what they’ve chosen. The human body can only take so much abuse. God is not the cause of resulting crises; failed stewardship is.
Recently I read again the story of Harriett Tubman, a female slave responsible for starting the Underground Railroad in America in 1849. In captivity, Harriett experienced unimaginable suffering, her physical scarring from abuse literally changing the skin texture on her body. A Christian, Harriett often retreated to nearby wooded areas to pray, asking God’s help to endure her experience. Eventually she married a free man but Harriet was not free and remained a “carrier” of slavery, doomed to pass slavery on to her children. This crossroads of her struggle drove her to the secret wooded area in prayer, pleading with God for her freedom, Harriett heard the Lord’s voice answer: “Free yourself.” Harriett understood. It was up to her now. The Lord had released her. So Harriett ran. She ran and did not stop. The former slave who came to be called ‘Moses’ and lived to be 92, reached a free state. The rest, as they say, is history.
Free yourself. That’s powerful. The Lord “fearfully and wonderfully” made you. What you do with His creation (you), is your stewardship response to His greatness that is inside you. An slave woman understood freedom’s price and risked everything to be free, not for her only but for all who would follow.
You are able to free yourself. Steward the gift. Obey the Lord. Whatever He tells you . . . do it.