by Christopher Harbin

Enough to Be Stewards
Christopher B. Harbin
Isaiah 49:8-16; Psalm 131; Matthew 6:24-34; 1 Cor. 4:1-5

We don't like the idea of stewardship. We want to be the landlords, owners, and bring others under our direction. We want to be the ones in charge. We don't want to be anyone's servant. After all, the American Dream is that we might rise above others and become the power brokers, sufficient unto ourselves. The Biblical concept of stewardship is just not very appealing. Why should we settle for something less than full ownership of everything in our grasp? Could anything less be enough?

Part of our problem with stewardship is the concept of trust. We do not trust those who would lord it over us. We do not trust others who would charge us rent and fail to maintain the property in which we live. We do not trust those who would exact our service yet fail to provide sufficient resources to meet our needs. We do not trust those who would ask us to increase productivity so they might lower employment costs, including our own jobs. We don't trust, because others are too much like ourselves. We don't trust, for we are too insecure.

It is interesting that Jesus would link stewardship with anxiety and trust. We don't often think of the Sermon on the Mount as a connected narrative, but there is logic behind the arrangement of its various concepts. We are anxious about our issues when we focus on ourselves, especially our inability to control the unknown variants in life for our benefit. Should we assume the role of a steward in service to a master, concerns over control begin to dissipate. There is no longer anything of ours to protect. Life with all its trappings belongs to another. While we are in charge of managing another's interests, ultimate control over those interests is not our own.

Regardless of what society says, it is not my responsibility to meet my own needs. That is not my responsibility unless I am my own master. As servant and ...

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