Defining Stewardship

After writing my post yesterday, I was curious as to see what the Bible said about stewardship. Surprisingly, the word “stewardship” or “steward” is not used in many versions of the Bible. However, the word “overseer” is used quite often and I’ve found a few verses that describe the qualities of an overseer.

“Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless — not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rahter, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” -Titus 1:12

These verses in Titus reference God’s household and go along with the point I made yesterday about how we Christians need to practice our stewardship over one another so that we can show the whole world God’s love. The last sentence reminded me of a Sunday School lesson a few weeks ago. We had been talking about the Fall and how part of Adam’s fault was that he did not relay God’s exact words to Eve when telling her about the Tree of Knowledge. Adam summarized God’s words so that Eve could presumably understand the content better. However, God knows what He’s saying and so by not “holding firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught”, Adam began the downfall of human sin. That is why it is so important that we stick to the Bible’s exact wording. I know that there are different versions, but most say basically the same thing. If we as stewards can stick by this sound doctirne, we can change lives.

“Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children must obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect.” -1Timothy 3:2-4

These verses from 1 Timothy say many of the same things as the prior verses from Titus. One difference though is that it mentions that “He [the overseer] must manage his own family well”. I know that I don’t have a family of my own yet (husband, kids, etc), but I think this still can apply to me. Many of you readers know that I still don’t have the best relationships with my family members, though it is getting better. It is often said that the best leader leads by example. In this verse God is telling the overseer that he or she needs to lead by example by demonstrating Christ-like love in their family. Then as the world sees the loving example in the family, the world can then recognize that God’s love is real and begin to follow example and love.

I think that God is trying to speak to me right now. I’ve learned that the real purpose of mission trips is to fulfill the responsibility of stewardship that God has given me. Still, I believe that God still has some stuff to teach me about stewardship and my role in the world. I can’t wait to see what He has in plan for me!

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2 thoughts on “Defining Stewardship

    • Abby R says:

      In Genesis chapter three, Eve says to the serpent,

      “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touchif, or you will die.'”(Genesis 3:2-3)

      In the Bible it never mentions God talking with Eve, but He did tell similar information to Adam,

      “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)

      Because the Bible does not tell us of communication between God and Eve, to our knowledge Adam was the one to tell Eve the rules concerning the fruit. God did not tell Adam that Adam could not touch the fruit, but that rule of no-touching was relayed to Eve possibly with the intention for her to just stay away from the fruit. This change in wording distorted God’s directive and created doubt in God’s words.

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