Being a Good Steward is what God calls us to do.
Learning how to be a good steward as part of our responsibility as children of God can seem challenging. But, have no fear. Being a good steward is simpler than it sounds. By understanding what a steward is and then applying that to different aspects of your life, you more easily understand how God is calling you to be a good steward of the gifts He has given to you.
The definition of a good steward.
According to macmillandictionary.com, a steward is “someone who takes care of something and protects it.”
By this definition, a good steward is someone who does a good job of taking care of and protecting what is entrusted to his or her care.
You can read more specifically about Christian stewardship on the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ website.
What the Bible says about being a good steward of God’s blessings to us
Since we are called as Christians to be good stewards, then we need to 1-recognize that all we have comes from God and 2-identify what is in our care.
The following Bible verses can help us to understand more about stewardship.
In 1 Chronicles 29: 11-12, King David praises God: “Yours, O Lord, are grandeur and power, majesty, splendor, and glory. For all in heaven and on earth is yours; yours, O Lord, is the sovereignty; you are exalted as head over all. Riches and honor are from you, and you have dominion over all. In your hand are power and might; it is yours to give grandeur and strength to all.”
King David makes it very clear that everything that exists belongs to God and that all we have comes from God. We may use what God has given to us, but it all belongs to Him.
1 Peter 4:10-11 says, “As each has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who utters oracles of God; whoever renders service, as one who renders it by the strength which God supplies; in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (Revised Standard Version)
This passage shows us that it is not only our material possessions and riches that are a gift from God but also the gifts of grace and the talents that we receive from God. All we have is from God and we should use all for His glory.
How is being a good steward possible?
Have you heard the expression that stewardship is about sharing our time, talent, and treasure? Our time, talents, and treasures are all gifts from God that we can share with others to build up the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God starts right in our own homes.
In prayer, we can discover how God wants for us to use the gifts He gives us in the service of others, in our homes, with others we know, and with those we do not know.
See “How to Pray About It” if you need some ideas on praying for discernment for a specific intention.
Be a good steward of your time.
Time is something we all have. Some of us have more than others to use in serving others. How is God calling you to use your time to honor Him?
You can smile and say good morning to someone each day. You can call someone you know is lonely and chat for a while. You can visit someone who is sick or make a meal for someone who has just gotten out of the hospital.
What about doing household chores for a friend who just had a new baby? One of my friends (who DETESTS dusting, by the way) came over when our second child was born and dusted for us so my husband and I wouldn’t have to do it.
As a busy mom, make sure you spend time each day playing or talking with your kids. They won’t be home forever. Now is the time we have to make a positive impact on them.
If you have more time in your schedule, you may be able to help out at your parish as a Catechist teaching kids or adults about our faith. Or, become an usher or a Eucharist Minister during Mass.
From sharing a smile, to spending hours helping someone, to assisting in some way at Church or during Mass, we can use our gift of time in the service of others.
Pray about how God wants for you to use your time (His gift to you) as a gift to your family and to others.
Be a good steward of your talents.
Are you wondering, “What are my talents?” You need to figure that one out first! We are all different, uniquely and wonderfully made by God. We each have a different talent given to us by God that we can offer back to God.
Spend time identifying the talents you have and discerning how God wants for you to use them.
Perhaps you love interacting with others and you have a knack for making others feel comfortable and welcome. You may enjoy being a greeter or an usher at church or perhaps enjoy going to a convalescent home to visit someone who is lonely.
Maybe your talent is organization. You can teach others who do not have this talent to be more organized.
If you are having trouble identifying your talents, think of the times someone has said to you, “Oh, I wish I could do that as well as you do!” or “You make that look so easy!” Sometimes we don’t recognize our talents as talents because they come easy to us or we think that everyone else can do the things we can do.
Remember, we are each unique; God gave each of us talents to share with others and build His Kingdom.
Be a good steward of your body.
You know that you need to eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep, but do you do these consistently, though? (I don’t always, either.)
God gave us bodies while we are here on earth. We need to care for them. When we look at taking care of our bodies with the perspective of taking care of a gift from God, it is easier to make healthy choices for ourselves. Try looking at your health from this perspective. It may make it easier for you to make good choices about eating, exercising, and getting enough sleep.
Be a good steward of your home.
Your home is a gift from God. Not everyone in the world (or even in your city) has a home to live in. We show God that we appreciate His gift of our home and are greatful for it when we take care of it.
If you are struggling with taking care of your home as you want to: ask God for help, do a little bit every day, ask others how they manage their homes, or read about how to take care of a home. There are many resources available to help you to be successful in managing your home well. Check online or at your local library.
Be a good steward of your money.
Tithing is one way you can show your appreciation to God for the financial gifts He gives your family. Tithing means giving 10% of your income to your church and/or organizations that help those in need. As God talks in the Bible about giving the first fruits of what we have to Him, tithing is a way to do that-to give to God first and then to ourselves for our needs.
Being a good steward of your money helps you to more easily separate needs from wants. Do you need to go and eat out instead of making dinner? No. Does your teenager need the latest phone just because it is new? No; the current one is working just fine.
Not everyone is blessed with enough money to pay for necessities, like shelter and food. If you are blessed in this way, ask God how He wants for you to use this extra to bless someone in need. He has a plan in mind.
Be a good steward of the earth.
Being a good steward of the earth can range from the simple to the complex. You can start by making sure you put your trash into trash cans and do not litter. Make sure you don’t waste resources, like leaving the water running while you brush your teeth. Teach your kids to lean up after themselves and conserve God’s resources, too.
If you have the call to help on a bigger scale, you can work to clean up local parks, work with public officials to enact policies that respect the environment, or write letters to companies encouraging them to support practices that protect our environment.
We only have one earth. God entrusted it to our care, so we need to be good stewards of the land and its resources while we live here.
Being a good steward is a decision we make each day.
Remember, everything we have comes from God and is His gift to us: every breath we take, every meal we have, our talents, time, body, home, money, and earth, just to name a few.
We show God that we appreciate His gifts and are greatful for them when we take care of them.
We need to treat all of God’s gifts with respect and gratitude, discerning how God wants for us to use them for His purposes. Trust in Him. He will let us know how He wants for us to use the gifts He graciously entrusts into our care.