An Elevated View of Stewardship
Religion & Liberty Online

An Elevated View of Stewardship

Tom Gilson, in an article at Thinking Christian, gives some thought to the Christian view of stewardship. Too often, he says, that view is “low”:

…our churches are teaching a low view of stewardship. We’re missing the essential goodness of work in particular, even “non-spiritual” work. “Non-spiritual” work, in case you’re wondering, is any work in which God is not interested, which is just to say there is no such thing.

Gilson notes that he works in “Christian work”, which is often esteemed in the eyes of believers. But, he says,

So does any other honest work. I’m deeply grateful for those who make chairs and carpets, who sell breakfast cereals and coffee, who deliver gasoline to service stations and hamburger patties to restaurants. Without such a community of co-creators, I’d be one cold and hungry blogger right now. There is something essentially good about the business of building a world with and for each other. It can go wrong, obviously, and when it does (unless it’s due to factors beyond anyone’s control), it’s a failure of stewardship: the effective and godly management of all that God has entrusted to us.

What Gilson further states is that the Stewardship Study Bible gets the idea of Christian stewardship right.

But it’s not only about work. It’s about creation care, serving the poor, creating beauty through art, guarding the truths entrusted to us, managing our finances, giving, receiving, and so much more. Stewardship extends into every aspect of life; it is the way we live our lives with the resources we have at hand. That’s why it’s a theme worthy of a study Bible.

I’ve read the books of Isaiah and 1 and 2 Thessalonians in the Stewardship Study Bible so far. To me it hits a sweet spot: its articles on stewardship are consistently relevant to the adjacent text, without commanding how that text must be interpreted. Dozens, maybe hundreds of authors are quoted in these articles, providing a wide range of of insight, all of it faithful to the intent and meaning of Scripture.

Is your view of stewardship an elevated one, or do you still think that there is work that God is not interested in?

Elise Hilton

Communications Specialist at Acton Institute. M.A. in World Religions.