Merriam-Webster defines stewardship as: “the conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially : the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care”
God has entrusted every human with abilities and talents. These competencies didn’t come about because of our own doing (even the ability and motivation to purposefully develop our particular skills comes from God). We are ultimately responsible for using the gifts that have been given to us in order to serve other humans, bringing glory to God.
10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
I think this verse is incredibly powerful! It acknowledges that we each have unique gifts given to us by God (“whatever gift you have received”) and that we are ultimately stewards of those gifts (not owners of our abilities, but those responsible for using them for a greater purpose). The idea of being faithful and wise with what God has entrusted to us brings to mind Jesus’s Parable of the Talents in (as a side note, the “talents” discussed in Matthew are a unit of money, worth about 20 years’ wages for a laborer, not “talent,” meaning an ability).
The story discusses a master and three servants – two who are faithful in the task assigned to them, and one who is “wicked and slothful.” Through these servants, Jesus paints a picture of the rewards received by those who are faithful to use the gifts given to them and the punishment of those who are not.
Stewardship is a concept that has always fascinated me and challenged me to maximize the use of my gifts and abilities for the service of others and the glory of God. I hope that this can also be a challenge to you – a challenge to use the gifts you’ve been given to serve your Master.
Follow this link to learn more about what it means to have Jesus as your Master.
You can read what the Bible says about the stewardship of our physical bodies too.
10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: (ESV)
14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (ESV)