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Stewardship and the Kingdom of God

Stewardship is a critical spiritual principle that has always been a part of faith in God. It is a complex principle, that many in the modern world do not wish to fulfill or interpret. As noted in the reading by Walborn and Chan (2015), stewardship as a concept has been lost in the modern church despite being a vital foundation. Most members of the church, are willing to contribute as long as the demands do not impose on their otherworldly allegiances or desires. People are “taking up the cross” only if it does not overbear them, fit in their schedules, and does not oppose their lifestyle needs. All this represents humanity’s fallenness which opposes the very nature of Christianity and its call for repentance, faithfulness, and dedication.

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Stewardship has been in place since the times of the Old Testament. There, the teachings of stewardship are based on the principles that everything is in God’s ownership, God’s covenant people are responsible for their management of resources that belong to God, and giving is an appropriate action to God’s ownership of everything (Walborn and Chan 2015). Therefore, in these principles, it is vital to understand that God created the Earth and all that is in it and inhabits it.

People tend to forget this in the context that humankind is essentially stewards of the planet. Everything that we ever owned or owned belongs to God. In turn, by giving generously as part of the act of stewardship, one is not giving away personal possessions but God’s gifts. The act of being able to part with the material to support the faith is essential in stewardship and an individual’s salvation. This was true in the times of David and Israel and remains true to this day.

Stewardship continues to be emphasized in the New Testament as well. Jesus continues the theology of God’s ownership with the parable of the servants. It once again makes the reference to the origin of the concept of stewardship, which is defined as a caretaker of the property, a servant overseeing the domestic property (Walborn and Chan 2015). New Testament gives more agency to the faithful, by making the people responsible and accountable stewards. Nevertheless, the coming of the Master is at hand, which may provide heavenly rewards or punishment in hell. However, the mysteries and wisdom of God call upon practicing proper stewardship already on earth, with experiencing these rewards on a smaller scale.

Going back to the modern-day, Walborn and Chan (2015) note that stewardship seems more palatable as a theological principle than just a practical one. Many experience strong emotions and difficult questions when attempting to give in to stewardship. Stewardship, even in the modern-day should be approached as if God already owns all material goods, thus not being a slave to them but living a faithful and dedicated life similar to that anecdote with the shoemaker.

As stewards, mankind just oversees the goods of this world until the return of the master. Stewardship is not difficult, requiring discipleship on how possessions are handled; mission with the giving of time, money, and talents; generosity, a key Christian value; and a lifestyle, of living humbly and giving from the heart, not just from what is leftover. As a result, the faithful who act in stewardship is able to proclaim Christ and advance the mission of the church while also accepting personal responsibility of being good stewards of God’s creation.

Reference

Walborn, Ronald, and Frank Chan. 2001. Stewardship and the Kingdom of God. Colorado Springs, CO: The Christian and Missionary Alliance.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, September 26). Stewardship and the Kingdom of God. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/stewardship-and-the-kingdom-of-god/

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Stewardship and the Kingdom of God'. 26 September.

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