So when my sweet friend Courtney asked me to write on Stewardship back in December 2015, my first thought was “Ugh, I am a numbers girl…I am so ill-equipped to write!”; my second thought was “Ugh, stewardship…how boring”; then my third thought was “Ok Jesus, if this is what you want me to do, you will equip me. And as You’ve taught me through the years, stewardship is actually super important and doesn’t just apply to money, and that’s what we need to talk about!”
So here we are…6 months later into June, so let’s talk about stewardship.
Stewardship is actually a topic I feel pretty comfortable with. Courtney asked us to seek the counsel of a mentor on this topic and I couldn’t think of a better one in the area of biblical stewardship than my father, Tommy Beck, who has worked in finance and biblical stewardship ministry his entire career.
So to say that I was brought up with a pretty biblical and financial perspective of the world is spot on. From an early age I was balancing a check book and putting my allowance into 3 categories (Give, Save, Spend). T Beck was and still is a wise steward of the resources of our family but one of the greatest and earliest lessons he taught me is that stewardship does not just relate to money. It relates to everything that God bestows upon us…Our Time, Our Talents and Our Treasure.
1. Our Treasure – EVERYTHING is God’s.
“Everything in the heavens and earth is Yours, O Lord, and this is Your kingdom. We adore you as being in control of everything. Riches and honor come from You alone and You are the ruler of all mankind. Your hand controls power and might and it is at Your discretion that men are made great and given strength. “ 1 Chronicles 29:11-12
Everything. Not just the 10 percent we are supposed to tithe to church. All of it, our house, our car, our possessions, our children, our finances. Whoa. Ok, Lord, so if it’s all Yours, then basically You have just loaned it to us for a while and it’s up to us to be wise with the way that we take care of it all. While kind of scary, there is also MAJOR FREEDOM in this. It’s all God’s. We can’t take it with us, so let’s use it for His glory and His kingdom.
2. Our Talents – God gives us ABILITIES and we better use them.
“But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth…” Deuteronomy 8:18
So where do we get the talents and abilities that we have to serve and love others? From the Lord! What an amazing outpouring of His faithfulness that He supplies us with unique gifts that we can utilize to help others. My mom and I laugh because she is a BIG IDEA person and I am the total opposite… logistics are my JAM. She has countless ideas about how to change the world and I will move her from point A to point B. We couldn’t be more different in certain ways but we make a great team. And isn’t that cool how God enables us all with different gifts, all working together to serve His kingdom? I continue to be reminded that we must use the gifts He’s given us. If we don’t use them, they dwindle and sometimes die on the vine and the opportunity to be a blessing moves to someone else. Remember the parable of the talents in Matthew 25. I want to be faithful with the talents the Lord entrusts to me!
When you see certain attributes in your children, point them out and how they can all work in concert with one another. One of my children has unique COMPASSION. We love that about him. One has a calming GENTLENESS. Grateful for that! And the other bounces around with incredible JOY. Each of these works together to complete our family and individually each child can minister to others. It’s my hope that throughout their lives, our kids will steward these gifts and talents early and seize on opportunities for the Lord to use them for His glory.
3. Our Time – We better number our days.
“Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12
So I’m a destination girl…not a journey girl. I’m always thinking of the fastest, most efficient way to get anywhere. Slow down, Kristen. My husband Chris and I have 3 kids, Charlie (9), Mary Grace (7) and Luke (5) and I think one of the biggest lessons that I’m learning is that my time with them is SHORT and it’s getting shorter! Before I know it, they will be grown and gone and what will we have to show for it? What do I want them to remember about their childhood and their time in this house?
I want them to remember that :
THEY ARE DEARLY LOVED BY JESUS AND THEIR PARENTS.
THEY SERVED OTHERS WITH KINDNESS, COURAGE AND COMPASSION.
THEY HAD A LOT OF FUN.
So, how am I stewarding their time now to make sure that those goals are accomplished and we are living with eternal perspective?
- Are we singing songs to God and imparting Jesus’ word?
- Am I being present when they are home and engaging with them?
- Are we serving others and thinking about ways to put others before ourselves?
- Are we stopping to smell the roses and enjoy God’s creation?
As summer begins, I encourage you to evaluate what are the big 3 or 4 goals for your family? How can this summer be one of time well spent together? Does this look like more board games and water hoses? Less screens and fewer rules? Maybe. Looking back on my childhood in the 80s, my memories are of playgrounds and swimming and Chutes and Ladders and Freeze Tag. There was no cell phone attached to my mom’s hand. No Instagram or Facebook. We ate turkey sandwiches on white bread with Doritos and drank red Kool-Aid on a blanket in our yard, while spotting shapes in the clouds and singing Psalty songs. And. It. Was. Awesome. I felt loved and secure. That was a gift that my parents gave me because they recognized that God made them stewards of my life for a short season and they were going to utilize it for eternal significance.
Now listen, I KNOW that being a mom of young children can be EXHAUSTING. And you may be thinking, are you kidding me? I can barely get everyone dressed, fed and out the door; how in the world am I supposed to model biblical stewardship? Well, you just do the best you can and let some of the other stuff go. My three yell and fight and cry and I yell more than I wish. But they also laugh and say and do funny bright things that I want to imprint on my brain forever. Luke goes to school without underwear but hey, he dresses himself (Bonus!). Mary Grace and Charlie won’t always want me to sing to them at bed so I’m doing it now. I want to relish in all these days because we are not guaranteed time.
A final word to all of you moms who are TIRED and UNSHOWERED and FEELING GUILTY and ILL-EQUIPPED about it all: YOU’VE GOT THIS! God entrusted YOU to be the mother of your children…warts and all. And those warts give us the ability to talk about God’s grace. He does not expect perfection, nor can we ever attain it. But we can do the best we can do with what He’s given us. And we can lean on Him to provide. God has gifted us with time, talents and treasure and our kids are looking to us to see how we manage it all.
You can do great things. And if all else fails this summer, turn on that Scooby Doo Marathon and hand out the cheese balls…because you know what? We turned out just fine.