You could buy a meal for a person who is hungry or for a person who just ate a feast. You could spend time with a lonely person or with someone who has more friends than you. You could step forward to join a parish committee that your experience and knowledge can help, or you can join a ministry where you will constantly struggle to figure out what to do. All of the above actions involve you giving and sharing yourself and your gifts. But not all of these actions will bear good fruit.
If a sower sows seeds only on rocky or weed-infested soil, nothing of great value will grow. But if that same sower plants his seeds in rich soil, then the harvest will one day be great. In all of the soils, the seed is being sown, but it is not the act of sowing that is the most important factor.
In living a stewardship way of life, we must discern how best to share our gifts. Discernment needs the Holy Spirit and a desire to follow God’s will, not our own. Our own desires and misconceptions can cause us to use our gifts unwisely. The more mindful we are of how, when, and why we are sharing ourselves, than the greater the impact for God’s glory. God wants all of you, but not in a way that is without understanding and discernment. He wants you to shine as a light to the world through your stewardship just as He came to you as the Light of the World in baptism. You can’t shine brightly if the match does not hit the wick.
-Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS