Being "good stewards"

How can a devoted Christian have a goal to be good stewards of her time and talents so that she will be recipient of those words of the Lord, “good and faithful servant…” when they meet face to face that day?
Can anyone give some examples of how they “invested” in their talents this way? These can be encouraging to me as well as others similarly “seeking”.
Thank you.

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Good to speak with you again! Hope you’re having a great week, sister.

A couple of the things God’s challenged me with is to recognized that the pursuit of knowledge is endless but the time left to connect with people outside the faith is limited. As I am naturally drawn to study and knowledge acquisition, my “self-improvement” has consumed much more of my time than reaching out to folks outside the faith. He’s challenging me to flip that on its head. I’m not a lifetime academic splitting the hairs of the faith’s theology or an influential Christian writer or speaker, so the endless pursuit of new knowledge is not a necessary goal. But, a deeper relationship with God through Jesus is a necessary goal and I know enough and have truth to share.

He’s also caused me to consider that I need to “bloom where I’m planted”. Instead of me looking to the future or other places for opportunity, especially overseas ones where it’s a quick “in then out‘, I need to look at my neighborhood and community to recognize opportunities where I am needed and could help.

He made me consider that “self-realization/self-actualization that is self-absorbing is ultimately self-defeating”. We are made for relationship and He is exhibited to the world through us by relationships most commonly.

Maybe there is something helpful there. What are your thoughts?

Kevin

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For some reason, I’m reminded of the account of Mary and Martha with Jesus in Luke 10:38-42. Martha was rushing around and Mary just sat at Jesus feet.

When I read this I think, why did Jesus commend Mary for just listening to Him teach, and not helping out. Martha was doing all the work. (my personality is to get in and just ‘do something’ and get on with whatever needs doing). Maybe Jesus was saying that the relationship with Him was the most important, and then ‘doing things’ was second. This stops us rushing around too much and helps keep us in balance…? We can rest in the fact that God has all things in his control; and we can do plenty of things, but then leave the results with God… We don’t have to run around like the proverbial headless chicken trying to do everything… :slight_smile:

When I was younger; I got the impression that there were ‘spiritual’ things that we can invest into and then ‘non-spiritual’ things such as a secular job. I think we can be good stewards of everything that God has given to us; talents, resources, family, relationships, work. It’s all part of life, and there isn’t a separation between ‘spiritual’ things and ‘non-spiritual’ pursuits like a job. We can bring meaning to our jobs by ‘Whatsoever your hand finds to do, do it heartily as to the Lord’ (Colossians 3:23-24). Jesus is our boss in the workplace, not the grumpy manager who might be having a bad day, and we may be able to show Jesus love to them. :slight_smile:

John Lennox is one of my favourite speakers; you might find this video an encouragement…

A few quotes I enjoyed:

“The bank of heaven gives 10,000% interest, which is a bit better than the local bank”.
“The unjust steward suddenly realised that he had a very short window of time, do you realise you’ve only got a short window of time, do I?.. life has gone like a flash for me at 75… life has gone very fast… will I have any friends or will I end up lonely in heaven…?”
“If Theophilus had spent it all on ice-cream [instead of sponsoring Luke’s writing of the Gospel of Luke and Acts] well ok, but he wouldn’t have made any friends…”

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Thank you brothers for giving us of your insights, much to be appreciated. I used to claim, in honesty, that my love for dogs, in particular easily over rides my love for people. I used to beat myself up for that. I guess it could very well be the result of PTSD (post traumatic something…?).

Then someone from RZIM (like you) mentioned that Martha, the “doer” was chided and Mary commended, she the essence of a human “being”.

Yes I believe in working out as well as we are able whatever placed in our lives (divinely? yea?). So as not to make ourselves as “burdens” to others.

Life can be quite messy and random often times. I now celebrate that fact. Through it all, it is our our hearts that matter most to our Beloved.

I delight in pleasing Jesus. May we keep discovering more of the things that mean much to Him like reaching out to His lost sheep, pursuing unity amongst His children and simply enjoying Him in our lives. There are multitudes more with greater burdens than these of mine. Pray for these.

A holy hug.

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Great question, Priscilla. It’s a wonderful goal for every Christian to seek to hear, “good and faithful servant.”

I think whether or not we will be judged as good stewards of our time and talents will have everything to do with the attitude of our hearts. I don’t think it will be about the quantity of our giving or how often we said yes when we were asked to serve, although both of those are good things. Did we do things out of obligation? Or out of love for the Father? Was our desire to give fueled by our gratitude for all the good things the Father has given us?

When we served with our time did we have the attitude that we would do whatever was needed and or asked of us? Or only the things we were comfortable with, or the things that were equivalent to our status? Were we willing to step in and do the menial things when menial things were what was needed?

I remember one time I went to a charity event and the woman passing out plates at the buffet line remarked that she had an MBA and “they” had her handing out plates. Clearly this was not a woman demonstrating a servant heart. So I’ve been conscious of that when I serve, am I truly joyful and happy to serve and communicating that through my actions? Or am I put out for having to do something beneath my talents. (The fact that I remember that woman’s poor attitude 20+ years later shows how long an impression can last.)

I think another area we need to check ourselves on in our attitude is our motivation when we serve and give. Is it to please God? Or others? Are we doing it to be liked by other people? Or out of true and genuine kindness and desire to bring the love of Jesus into the world?

I have some professional skills as a graphic designer. So I offer those services to our church when they are needed. Honestly, churches are usually the hardest to work with and please, but it’s still a blessing and an honor to serve in this capacity. But most of all, when they ask for help in anything (whether or not it has to so with my skillset) I try to find reasons to say yes, but I also allow myself permission to say no if it will mean I’m not fulfilling obligations to family and relationships.

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What a great question Priscilla. Its so easy to get busy with doing stuff these days. We need to work, rest, enjoy ourselves and His creation and spend time in his presence. You simply cannot do all these things every day in a grand and wonderful way. God did not intend for us to be constantly on the go, doing things.

For me being a good steward of my time involves balancing my daily activities. How that will work out for you will be different than it is for me. Some time ago I disconnected my TV. Facebook, twitter and the like are all gone. I realized that they were sucking up too much of my day and I was getting no return on my investment. Rest is also very important. When we were serving in our church in Toronto, I was often busy 7 days of the week. Doing church work and ministry. All good things but I was neglecting my family, my neighbours and my own health (rest). So being a steward of your time for me means balance and saying no to somethings. I’m not always even being close to balance but understanding that I need it I am striving towards it.

We all have unique abilities. Call them talents if you will. We do what comes naturally and what we enjoy doing. Being a steward of these abilities to me means that I use them as often as I can (within the boundaries of time stewardship) for his work and his glory. Some gifts we are born with, some appear as we mature, and some are specific manifestations of the work of God. And then sometimes we need to step out and try something we feel that we are being led to do in order to discover something new that God is calling us to do.

I agree with @jennifer_judson about it being a heart issue. We once had a lady come out to our local Christian camp who loved to peel potatoes. That was her talent and her gift in service to her Lord and she did it with joy.
The key here I believe is that we need to be out doing something. Using our time and our energies somehow in his service.