Thoughts on stewardship and giving
I imagine that in the exact moment I take my last breath, Jesus is standing in front of me smiling. He reaches out and gives me an enormous bear hug and in a deep fatherly voice, exclaims, “Welcome home, son!” A tender kiss on my cheek makes it all so real.
After the awe sets in, Jesus gives me his full attention and asks tenderly, “Now tell me, what did you do with what I gave you? I want to hear all about it!” This is the only question that will be asked of me in that moment. It’s a question of stewardship.
Stewardship is defined as the activity or job of protecting and being responsible for something. On my final day, I will be asked to give an account of how I lived my life for the kingdom with my time, with my gifts and talents, and with the resources that were allotted to me.
How did I carry out the responsibility of using what I was given?
A couple years ago a woman ran a red light and slammed into my car. The sheer force of the accident sent my car rolling through the intersection until it landed upside down in the path of oncoming traffic. I had a split second awareness of the finality of my life.
God was certainly watching after me that day, and by his provision I literally walked away from the accident without a scratch. But as I reflected on how quickly my life could have ended, I wondered if I had lived my life to the fullest.
Had I really put it all on the line for Jesus? Did I live relying on his promise that I have a purpose, that he would provide for my needs, that he would watch after my safety? Or did I withhold in giving what I had because I was afraid of not having enough for myself?
Take a moment to consider your life and rate yourself. How are you leveraging what God gave you? Where do your time, talents, and resources go?
Not everyone can be or should be in full-time ministry, but we have all been called to go. We have all been invited to join in what God is doing—whether in our neighborhoods, in our businesses, or in our giving.
Giving is a spiritual exercise that does not just fund salaries or projects; it is an opportunity to participate in the expansion of God’s kingdom. It teaches our minds that we don’t own our stuff and teaches our hearts that our stuff doesn’t own us. Giving teaches us that we are stewards of everything we have been given. And it also connects us more deeply with God—the giver of all things.
Frederich Buechner wrote, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” This doesn’t only refer to the way you spend your time and give of your talents and abilities. It also means the way you allocate your resources.
Do you not know that God has created you with specific passions to drive you toward the places where you can meet the world’s needs? It is God’s great gift that he invites us to use his resources in a way that is both life-giving for us and transformative for the world around us. There is no greater joy than living in the space where these two things meet.
TAKING THE NEXT STEP
When considering how or where to give, ask yourself, “Where do your passions lie?” Where do your most passionate prayers take you? What draws your attention or brings you to tears? What vision of the future brings you great delight or compels you to action?
If you give to CRM, it is our expressed desire that you feel uniquely connected to the work of God in your giving. If you don’t give to CRM, we want to invite you into what God is doing through our staff around the world.
Of supreme importance, we want you to be able to stand with Jesus on your final day and enthusiastically share with him the incredible stories of transformation that happened because you were faithful with what he entrusted to you!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Casey Caston serves on CRM's Partner Development Team. He and his wife, Meygan, live in Irvine, California with their two small children.