“Stewardship” can get a bum rap these days. When folks hear the term “stewardship” from the pulpit, their eyes tend to kind of glaze over. “Here’s Father asking for more money,” they groan inwardly, “Get ready for the passing of the pledge cards.”
Christ refutes this idea when he gives us what he calls the greatest commandments — instructing us to love God and to love our neighbor. Now, Christ is a man who chose his words carefully. He meant exactly what he said — and he didn’t say that the greatest commandments were to tithe and to give money to charity. If he had wanted stewardship to be only about money, he would have said so.
Sometimes we are indeed called to show our love for God and neighbor in the form of a financial gift. But the concept of Everyday Stewardship — living mindfully in prayer, grateful for our blessings, and gracious to our neighbors, committed to God, and accountable to each other — is about so much more.
I propose a twist on the long-held practice of the “Daily Examen” — a pious devotion wherein, at day’s end, we go over the events of the last 24 hours and discern God’s will. A Daily Examen of Stewardship might contain questions like this:
How did I love God today? In whom did I love Him?
What did God give me today? With whom did I share it? What did I give to Him?
To whom did I reach out today? Who reached out to me?
Where was God on my list of priorities today? First? Second? Third, fourth?
— Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS