Saturday, January 11, 2014

Your Christian Stewardhip Can Define You

1: the office, duties, and obligations of a steward
2: the conducting, supervising, or managing of something ; especially : the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care <stewardship of our natural resources>
So what are we actually stewards over?  
Personally, I believe it applies to everything we have been given. The most obvious things
would include our finaces, homes, abilities and the gifts God has given us, yet it also includes the influence we have over others.

I particularly like how the definition says “managing of something.”
Just like the manager of a store is responsible for his/her business and employees, we are each responsible for managing ourselves, which should include our behavior toward others at all times.

When I started researching stewardship, I found several verses in the Bible concerning how people were rewarded for their good stewardship in the handling money and property. The good stewards were the ones who took “risks” and action in order to multiply or improve what they had been given. The poor steward was the one who out of fear decided not to take a risk and were then considered to be lacking in motivation.
Consider the things we do and the people we encounter on a daily basis. Are we being good stewards in all areas with all people?

I know I certainly have room for improvement. This year I had the opportunity to work retail during the busy shopping season and it was a real eye opener for me. I learned a couple of important things about people.
 #1. People working retail are performing a thankless, underpaid position, one that should be appreciated by shoppers more than it is.
 #2. Most shoppers are demanding and rude...
O.K. I know...the customer is always right. Whatever...blah blah blah...
That very statement has sadly encouraged this behavior.
It has prompted our culture to feel so entitled that we forget something as rudimentary as shopping stewardship. Our minds are so transformed that we, as a society believe that the employee in the retail setting is the only person capable of scoring the big F in Retail. What about us...the shoppers...what happened to our shopping stewardship?

I was taught when growing up to put things back where I got them if I decided against them. (Have you ever seen the box of ice cream on the bread shelf??) I was also taught to hang things back on the hangers after I tried them on (not rip off the tags, throw them on the floor, wade through them to leave the fitting room and expect my mommy; the store clerk making $7.50). This shopper even puts clothing back where I got it if I decide against read that right.
Sometimes people think I work there, but No, I just have a boss who expects this from me.

Jars of Clay wrote this wonderful song that reminds us of how we are suppose to behave.                  A few of the lyrics go like this...
We are one in the Spirit
We are one in the Lord
And we pray that our unity may one day be restored
And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yeah, they'll know we are Christians by our love
We will work with each other
We will work side by side
We will work with each other
We will work side by side
And we'll guard each man's dignity and save each man's pride
And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love

This should be our Christian Mantra.

My dear friend Michael Knopf tells me he can spot a Christian by the light in their eyes. I like to believe that this is so. 
Enjoy a spirit filled weekend and don't forget your shopping, no scratch that...your Christian Stewardship in all areas of your life. Don't forget, your bossy boss is watching you too.