We often think of stewardship in terms of money. And that’s not wrong – surely the Bible teaches that we have been financially entrusted with funds, and it’s our job to manage them well for the sake of the kingdom of God. But stewardship is bigger than that. Consider, for example, Philippians 1:29:
“For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him…”
Are you kidding, Paul? It has been “granted”? Like a privilege? That puts a whole new spin on difficulty, because from this verse, it sounds as if in Paul’s mind, suffering is something that is entrusted to us. If that’s true, then we are stewards in this life of alot more than just money.
We are stewards of experience.
God grants us circumstances in our lives and we are to be stewards of those experiences. We are to learn from them, to comfort those in similar circumstances, and to mature because of them. Though we can usually only ask this question with some perspective rather than right in the middle of our trying times, we do well to consider: “Why has God entrusted this experience to me?” Now I’m not talking about circumstances that come as consequences of sin, like we should be asking, “Why has God entrusted me with the privilege of this broken marriage?” when that marriage is broken because of unfaithfulness. I am talking about those times that enter our lives that we have no control over.
Why has God entrusted this financial difficulty to me?
Why has God entrusted this cancer to me?
Why has God entrusted this difficult relationship to me?
Asking that question moves us from a victim mentality to being a person of action. It moves us into a different way of asking, “Why me?” And asking that question propels us forward into the redemption that God brings out of all difficulty.