Much has been written about the habits it takes to be a highly effective person, or a highly effective family or a highly effective teen. This seven-part series will reflect on the habits of a highly effective steward.
Since stewardship is a part of discipleship, and discipleship is a journey for each of us, we hope that these habits will help us reflect on this area of our Christian life.
Habit 1: Be Thankful
“In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (I Thess. 5:18) Talk about an attitude of gratitude! What does giving thanks in “everything” mean for daily living? Do we thank God for the blessings of life—the big things and the small things, the obvious and the not so obvious?
Food and shelter are basic necessities. Family and friends provide meaning and fellowship. Good health is important to our general well being. Though we enjoy these gifts each day, it is easy to take them for granted and not express our appreciation.
What about your job? Do we view it as our vocation? The word “vocation” literally means “calling”. We usually think of a calling as being related to some kind of ministry. But God calls and equips all of us so that, by the quality of our work in our vocation He is honored and we reflect His image...no matter what our “work” is. Col. 3:23-24 says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.... You are serving the Lord Christ.” If we could see Jesus Christ as our boss, would it change our attitude about our job?
Let’s face it: some of us have a kind of love/hate relationship with work. We spend roughly a third of our adult lives making a living and what is our attitude about that? Work is not just a means to a paycheck. It is a gift from God to help develop character. It is an opportunity to be a Christ-like example to those with whom we work. It motivates us to be productive and to achieve a sense of accomplishment and value. As Christians we can say, “All this, and a paycheck too”!
A steward’s heart is a thankful heart. Someone has said it well: “Thanksgiving, to be truly thanksgiving, is first thanks, then giving.” You can give without being thankful, but you cannot be thankful without giving. When you give, you not only are acknowledging that everything you have is a gift from God, but you are expressing your gratitude to Him.
Reprinted by permission: Barnabas Foundation, Tinley Park, IL