A Case of Maturity

Ryan Broyles

Yesterday, I posted on my Facebook page and tweeted about Ryan Broyles, the Detroit Lion wide receiver who despite a multi-million dollar NFL contract, lives with his wife on a yearly budget of $60,000. Broyles met with a financial advisor when he was first drafted and then decided he would invest and save most of his salary so when he left the NFL for good, he would be financially secure. In order to live this lifestyle, he still owns the car he had in college and he primarily spends money for his needs and not his wants. Of course, because he has grown so accustomed to his lifestyle, he claims that he and his wife want for nothing.

I was struck by his sense of financial stewardship. Now, he doesn’t maintain, as far as I know, that his simple living has to do with faith in God, but he did say that “whatever comes, it’s just a blessing.” Also, how this sense of stewardship plays into the other aspects of his life, I do not know either. But what he does illustrate beautifully is one characteristic that is key to becoming a good Christian steward: maturity.

The US Bishops pastoral letter on stewardship has as its first conviction that we are called to be mature disciples of Jesus Christ that are willing to respond to Christ’s call regardless of the cost. Maturity in our modern American society sometimes seems to be in short supply. So often we are about immediate gratification and we focus more on our wants instead of our needs. We find ourselves unable to see the big picture or the value of waiting for anything. This is true with money, possessions, sex, and relationships. And certainly it is true with faith.

From maturity comes discipline. Discipline allows us to become better than we were yesterday. It makes achieving big goals possible and provides pathways for dreams to come true. And it can transform men and women who have met Jesus into disciples who answer the call regardless of the cost. Discipline in prayer, virtuous living, practices of generosity, development of talents, and management of time all help you and I become mature disciples.

What do you want today? Is it the same as what you need? The beauty of the Ryan Broyles story is that his needs and wants have become the same thing. His longing for something more than what he needs has been squelched by his mature response to his life situation. May God not only grant to you what you need today, but also satisfy any hunger for something more.

This entry was posted in Discipleship, Faith, family, Stewardship and tagged , , , , , , , by Tracy Earl Welliver. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tracy Earl Welliver

Tracy Earl Welliver is the Director of Parish Community and Engagement for LPi and an active member of Saint Pius X Catholic Church in Greensboro, North Carolina, where he previously served as Pastoral Associate for 22 years. Saint Pius X received the Archbishop Murphy Award in 2009 from the ICSC. Tracy is a writer, speaker, and teacher in the areas of stewardship, engagement, catechesis, and strengths theory, and has worked with Catholic communities throughout the US, Australia, and New Zealand. You can read Tracy’s Everyday Stewardship column in LPi’s CONNECT!, a bimonthly lectionary-based liturgy preparation publication. His writing can also be read on his Nutshell Blog, The Main Thing Blog, and in contributions to Catholic TechTalk. He also serves on the faculty for the ICSC Stewardship Institutes. Tracy has theology degrees from DeSales University and Duke Divinity School. He has been married 23 years and he and his wife, Mariann, have 3 children.

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