Stewardship & Discipleship

Any conversation about stewardship must necessarily include a most important four-letter work:  GIVE.  Giving is the cornerstone of stewardship.  God has GIVEN us many blessings – in fact, everything we have.  In gratitude, the good steward joyfully GIVES back to God a portion of the GIFTS one has received.

In a society that is more intent on GETTING rather than GIVING, why would anyone choose to live a life of stewardship?  The short answer is because of our discipleship in Christ.  A person who has chosen to be a disciple of Jesus accepts the mandate to be a good steward.  Stewardship and discipleship are inextricably intertwined:  one cannot exist without the other.  The U.S. Bishops in their pastoral letter on stewardship say:  “Being a good steward is not an option for disciple of Jesus Christ; it is a requirement!”

A story is told about a pic and a cow conversing.  The pig complained that people were very appreciative of the cow but never had anything kind to say about him.  He admitted that cows give milk and cream, but he was sure that pigs give more.  “We give bacon, ham and pork chops,” the pig grumbled.  “I don’t see why you cows are held in high esteem.”  The cow though for a moment, then replied, “Perhaps it is because we cows are giving while we are living!”

It is those things that we do or fail to do during our lifetime (like the cow) that will determine our final judgement, not the legacy we leave after death (like the pig).  Or, as someone said, “When we come to the end of life, the question that will be asked of us will: “How much have you given?” not, “How much have you gotten?”

We are in the season of Lent.  It is a special time to ask ourselves: Am I a good steward?  Am I faithful disciple of Jesus?