by Pastor R.L. Trask

“It’s really quite elementary, Dear Watson, the ‘buck’ stops with you!”

While it is often convenient to attempt to ‘pass the buck’ when seeking to avoid culpability for our actions or responsibilities, the ultimate reality is that we are each personally responsible to God for that which has been ‘gifted’ to us. Indeed, the early believers in the book of Acts embraced the truth that all they possessed was not their own and readily offered these resources to those in need. (Acts 4:32)

Hence the concept of stewardship: That we are entrusted by our Lord with our very breath, abilities, relationships, privileges, children, earthly possessions, freedom, time, testimony, example, planet, pets, health, etc. and that we will give an account to Him for our care and maintenance of the same. Indeed, we should not take His gifts to us for granted but, rather, embrace them all in loving gratitude. It has been said: “My life is a gift from God: What I make of it is my gift to God!”

It seems overwhelming at first, but upon reconsideration it is quite liberating! In the parable of the Talents Jesus said that the Master distributed his goods to his servants according to their separate abilities, thus not burdening them beyond their individual capabilities. Only the servant who disdained his Lord and buried his talents from view was chastised for his irresponsibility. All others were commended and amply rewarded for their efforts. God doesn’t give us more than we can handle! (Mt. 25: 14-30)

Now, for the purpose of this blog, let’s move on from the ‘101’ to the ‘Beyond’; primarily, the Stewardship of our example, influence and testimony to the world and weak believers. This is where we must reconcile our walk with our talk and demonstrate true sincerity and holiness. We are instructed to be examples before others and allow Christ’s transforming power to be evidenced in our everyday life. If we appear no different from unbelievers in our speech and behaviours, what will be the appeal to draw them to faith in Christ? The early Christians were noted for their love, joy, manner of life, wholesome speech, bold witness, and separation from the evil culture that was dominant in society. Contemporary ‘Christianity’ of our day has compromised these essential behaviours to such a degree that the lines have been blurred so as to confuse anyone seeking to embrace their own personal faith.

We live in the world but must not be of the world whose god is satan. So allow me to share some immediate concerns before signing off on this blog: The most vulnerable targets of the enemy are our children. They, more than anyone, need to observe the transforming power of Jesus at work in our lives! We cannot ignore the influence for good, or evil, that is played out before them daily in our family. They need to see and experience the ‘fruit of the Holy Spirit’ in our homes. To ignore this phase of Stewardship will have heartbreaking consequences for generations to come! (Matthew 18:6)

Further examples to be considered seriously are our habits of life and speech. For example; compromising sobriety through substance and alcohol abuse may discourage a weak believer struggling to overcome addiction for which we will be held accountable. (Romans 14:21) Using salty and profane language is a dead giveaway of our insensitivity towards our witness for Christ to those in our company or reading our rants on cyberspace. (Titus 2:6-8 / Eph. 5:3-17) Other considerations are our attitude towards our work and employers as well as our employees. (Titus 2:9-15) We are even encouraged to be Stewards of our maturity! (Titus 2:1-8)

Our response to these ‘stewardship issues’ might be similar to Cain’s response to God who inquired of him concerning the fate of his brother Able; “Am I my Brother’s keeper?” The answer is; ‘Elementary my dear friend, elementary!’