Spiritual Discipline: Stewardship – Principle of being a steward

The next part of discipleship is practicing the spiritual disciplines. There was a list of
different spiritual disciplines that were identified. It would be wise to take a look at a discipline
that was not mentioned, and that is being a steward. Every person in the world has time to keep
track of, and things to handle, but not everyone knows how to use the best of it or use it wisely.
What does stewardship look like in our lives? The sad truth is that we are really bad at it. There
are times where I lose track of time playing video games while I should be doing homework,
studying, spending time with God, and even spending time with the family. If we are men of
God then “every faculty you have, your power of thinking or of moving your limbs from
moment to moment, is given you by God. As expressed by C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity, “if
you devoted every moment of your whole life exclusively to His service, you could not give Him
anything that was not in a sense His own already”. This means that everything we own belongs
to God, He is the one who provides the air we breathe, so how can we use what was given to His

Here are the 4 principles of stewardship that we can all learn and understand. Bill Peel
put together the idea of biblical stewardship in his essay called Leadership Is Stewardship.

1. The principle of ownership

In the beginning God created everything and this includes mankind. When God
created everything, He placed man to be in charge of the garden and to take care of it. It
is clear from the beginning that God owns everything. We as men are simply an
administrator or a manger to God’s things as we are acting on His behalf. So this means
that stewardship is a way for us to obey God in caring for what He has given to us. This
is what David said, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who
live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters” (Psalms 24:1-2
NIV). This is to say that God is the producer of possessions, not man. God has the rights
and the control over it. “You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my
hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is He
who gives you the ability to produce wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:17-18 NIV).

2. The principle of responsibility

While God is the owner of everything, men are stewards, which mean as we
manage God’s things we are responsible for it. All the things that we have belong to God
and yet God entrusted it to us so that we can enjoy it while taking care of it. We are to
care for it like it is ours most prized possession. At the end of time, God will judge us on
what He has given to us. How are we responsible for the things that God gives us? “For
we will all stand before God’s judgement seat… each of us will give an account of
ourselves to God” (Romans 14:10, 12 NIV).

3. The principle of accountability

Along with being a manager of God’s things, there is an accountability. God
provides all the stewards with the abilities and opportunities to serve Him. We are
accountable for what the Master gives us. Because God created the world and gave
dominion under our care, we are not to rule over it as we see fit, but rather we are to
exercise our dominion under God’s principles that He has established. The parable of the
talent that is found in Matthew 25:14-30 gives a good example of accountability. “Be
sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds”
(Proverbs 27:23 NIV).

4. The principle of reward

At the end of the parable of the talent, the faithful servants heard their master say,
“Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you
over much. Enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:23 NIV). There will be
rewards from God to His children for what they have done with what God has given to
them. God wants to give out rewards to the faithful men. “Whatever you do, work at it
with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that
you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are
serving” (Colossians 3:23-24 NIV).

We are living in the 21 st century and the Bible still guides us on how to be good stewards.
This spiritual discipline of stewardship goes beyond the church; it is our walk with God in being
good managers in the things that He has given to us individually. God gives us many
opportunities to serve Him and to glorify Him. How we conduct our stewardship can speak
volumes about our walk with God. Let’s be men of integrity and good stewards. Sometimes, we
will need to let go of things so that we can be better stewards for God. Here is a list of things
that we can practice our stewardship of:

• Time
• Money
• Material things
• Abilities
• Authority
• Faith
• Work
• Family/relationship
• Information