Stewardship or Ownership?
What's the difference between stewardship and ownership?
An an owner, you have a right to what is yours. You can use it how you wish. You can hoard it, spend it, give it, trade it, sell it, do whatever you want with it! It is yours!
Stewardship means you have the responsibility to correctly manage that which you have been given. You have no right to it. You use it under the direction of the owner.
So, which are we? Stewards or Owners?
Deuteronomy 8 gives us a very clear picture. Moses reminds the people how God supported them with unexpected and unknown manna that He might humble them and test them, to do them good in the end. He warns them in verses 17-18 to "Beware lest you say in your heart, 'My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth'" You shall remember the Lord, your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day"
So, Steward or Owner? We are definitely stewards. Whether blessed with the time to work, the talent to excel, or the treasure to use, it all comes from God. He has granted us all the blessings we possess.
Are you acting as a steward or an owner? We often think of giving, whether to church, charity, or people, as something we decide. May I suggest, that is the wrong way of looking at it. A better question is, "God, how much can I keep?" If it is all God's, why do we get to determine how it is used?
The amazing answer is because that is how much he loves us. If we choose to be grasping, he will let you and work on your heart. If you want to give it all back to the Lord, he will support you. It is rare that God works in extremes. He works in balance and wants our stewardship to also be in balance.
How is God calling you? Are you acting as a steward or owner? Are you keeping your time, talent, and treasures for yourself when God would rather you use them for something else? Seek the Lord. Do not ask how much you can give, but ask how much you can keep.