In the Bible, a steward is a person responsible for managing the resources of a household, estate, or kingdom. They offer their services in the form of ‘stewardship’, meaning they oversee and maintain assets and possessions on behalf of someone else. This can include providing care and protection of animals, crops, investments, and finances. The role of a steward also includes being mindful of their behaviour and decisions when it comes to handling the resources of the other person or entity.
In the biblical sense, stewards are held to the highest standard and are regarded with the utmost respect. Moreover, those who fail to show proper stewardship can be met with harsh punishments due to the nature of their duties. This is seen multiple times throughout scripture, and for good reason.
The Bible often emphasizes the importance of good stewardship. The parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 is an example of Jesus teaching his disciples about being faithful and productive stewards. He urged his followers to use the resources they were given in preparation for his return, noting that those who were unfaithful would be harshly judged by the Master on his arrival.
While the primary purpose of the parable of the talents was to illustrate the importance of being a good steward, the characters of the story can also teach us a few lessons about the characteristics of a proper steward. The first steward, for instance, received five talents, which he doubled in value to ten. This illustrates that, like the first steward, a good steward is knowledgeable and has the ability to identify opportunities to increase the value of their resources. This could include things like turning a small investment into something that generates more income or finding ways to reduce expenses.
A good steward also often has a strong work ethic and understands the importance of responsibility. This can be gleaned from the second steward, who was given two talents and managed to double them in value as well. The third steward, however, was not successful in this regard as he did not invest his talent. Rather than doubling it in value as the other two servants had done, he instead went and hid it in the ground.
This illustrates that a good steward is not only responsible with their resources but also diligent in their work. Identifying the most reliable and profitable investment opportunities, understanding the merits and risks of the decisions that are made, and taking action to maximize returns are all examples of being a good steward.
Stewardship of Blessings
In addition to understanding the importance of good stewardship, the Bible also teaches us of the importance of being a good steward of the blessings we receive. This can be seen in the parable of the Great Banquet in Luke 14:15-24, where some of the invited guests could not attend the banquet due to their own circumstances, such as having purchased a plot of land that needed their attention.
Jesus used this scenario to teach his disciples that they were not to be stewards of their own blessings, but rather stewards of the blessings they receive from God. This means taking advantage of all the opportunities afforded to us by God and using them to the best of our abilities. This could include using our talents to work for the good of others, using our resources to give back to those in need, or using any kind of privilege we may have to bring about social and economic change.
It also includes being mindful of how we use our time, as it is often seen as our most valuable resource. We are called to recognize that even if we are not afforded the time or ability to do certain tasks, there are individuals within our communities who can be diligent in using their resources to bring about the necessary change. Ultimately, developing the will to work hard and diligently to care for others is integral part being a good steward of the blessings provided by God.
The Bible is full of examples of God recognizing and rewarding those who practice faithfulness and proper stewardship. Whether it be the Talents parable or the Acts of the Apostles, there are many examples of God rewarding his servants for their faith and dedication. The Proverbs 12:24, for instance, states that “the hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.” Here, we can see the importance of being diligent and hardworking even when no one else is looking.
While God rewards those who demonstrate good stewardship, the Bible also warns against those who do not. This is seen several times throughout scripture, such as in the Parable of the Unfaithful Servant in Luke 12:43-48, which tells of three servants who were each given two talents. The first two improved the talents they had been given and were consequently praised, while the third was condemned for not doing the same.
This serves as a stark reminder of the consequences of not utilizing our resources and talents for God’s work, and of the lessons we can learn from those who have failed to do so. The Bible teaches us to be stewards of the blessings God has given us, and to recognize and invest wisely in the opportunities presented to us.
The Role of a Steward
In summary, the Bible teaches us of the importance of stewardship, namely exercising responsibility and awareness when it comes to managing the resources of others. We are called to understand our role as stewards of the blessings given to us and use the resources, talents, and opportunities we have been given in a way that serves God and brings us closer to him.
This can be done through a variety of ways, such as diligent work, creativity, and responsible decision-making. Stewards are expected to use their resources and make wise investments to increase the value of the possessions they are tasked to care for, doing all they can to safeguard both what has been given to them and benefit those around them.
A Branch of Faithful Stewards
The Bible also emphasizes the importance of fellowship and building a community of those that share the same faith and are devoted to the same objective. This is seen in the parable of the Net, where Jesus details the process of gathering fish and sorting them into categories of good and bad. This demonstrates the importance of surrounding ourselves with those who are held to the same standards of faithful stewardship for mutual growth and encouragement.
It also provides a sense of solidarity and accountability when it comes to demonstrating good stewardship. Even when we make mistakes, it is comforting to know that brothers and sisters in faith are there to support one another and pick each other up when needed. Ultimately, this is the essence of being a faith-based steward: learning, growing, and supporting others through our journey.
Examples of Stewards
Throughout the Bible, there are many examples of faithful and productive stewards. Joseph, for instance, served as the steward of Potiphar’s house and was responsible for managing his finances and possessions. It was here that he learned how to effectively utilize his skills and resources to benefit others, a quality that is often seen as a sign of a good steward.
Daniel was another example of a faithful steward. He was taken from his home and forced to serve a foreign king. Despite his difficult situation, he strived for excellence and remained obedient and steadfast to the commands of the King, even at the risk of his own life. What ultimately sets Daniel apart from the other characters of the Bible is his unwavering faith and fear of the Lord. He remained faithful throughout his tribulations and was ultimately rewarded for his diligence.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, is also seen as a great example of a good steward. Beyond being of utmost importance to the Christian faith, Mary’s faithfulness and servitude to both her son and God illustrate her unwavering commitment to carrying out her role as a steward. Even after the loss of her son, she remained steadfast and served the Lord to the best of her ability.
The Meaning of a Steward
Being a steward of God’s estate is a crucial part of being a Christian. It requires us to be faithful and diligent in our work, and to always remember to put God first in all that we do. We are called to be mindful of our behaviour and decisions, for our actions can ultimately have an impact on those in our care. Moreover, it is our responsibility to be good stewards of the blessings and gifts we receive from the Lord.
The parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 exemplifies this nicely. The parable serves as a reminder of how important it is to use the resources we have been blessed with, and to make wise and diligent decisions when it comes to managing these resources. Ultimately, the Bible teaches us to be stewards of the blessings God has given us and to use sound judgement when it comes to investing them.
The Benefits of Being A Steward
The benefits of being a faithful and diligent steward manifest themselves in a variety of ways. Practicing stewardship allows us to use the resources at our disposal to benefit our communities and to help those in need. A natural consequence of being good stewards is the development of wisdom, which strengthens our judgement and makes us better able to distinguish between right and wrong.
Furthermore, being a steward of the blessings we have received can also lead towards a closer relationship with God. By understanding the importance of investing in one’s faith, one’s actions and choices can be guided by His will, and draw us closer to Him. Furthermore, as Proverbs 27:23 states, “Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, and look well to your herds.”
Being a good steward requires dedication but the rewards are great. Ultimately, a faithful steward recognizes the importance of the role they have been entrusted with and uses their resources and talents wisely, with the ultimate goal of serving God.