Stewardship is Not a Competition

An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

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As everyday stewards, I hope that each of us tries to live daily lives of generosity for the glory of God. I hope that we are all working to cultivate characteristics of a good everyday steward so that we can grow in maturity of faith and draw closer to Christ. But if we could accurately see on a magical computer spreadsheet how everyone else around us was living life would it impact how we lived out our stewardship way of life? If we found out that others weren’t trying as hard as we were or they were not nearly as generous as we would it give us reason to pause?

In the workplace, school, and general life, people can easily look around and choose to adapt what they are doing to match more closely what others are doing. Why give work more hours if no one else is willing? Why give a 20% tip to a waiter if you suspect everyone else is only giving 15%? Why spend hours studying for a test when no one else is taking it that seriously?

Our lives of stewardship should never be measured against that of others. Even though we are all called to give all we are and all we have to God, each one of us is unique in our response to that call. Instead of any type of comparison that may temper our generosity, we should hold to the truth that the more we give of ourselves the more fulfilled we will feel. Also, as we grow in our relationship with God, the more we will want to glorify him. Stewardship is not a competition. It is a call to serve a God without counting the cost.

This Day Will Never Come Again

Dad & Kids

Life was not always easy with my father when I was growing up. Let’s just say he made many decisions along the way that led to fear, anger, and sadness for my family and me. Unfortunately, I was the only one in the family that would years later truly forgive him for his actions. My mother and sister held onto the resentment and anger they felt all their lives. For my father and I, reconciliation led to several years of a deepening relationship before his passing in 2011.

Forgiveness is not easy and I do not consider myself better or stronger because I was able to forgive and my family members could not. However, I can say that the blessings I received due to forgiveness and a renewed relationship with my father were far better than the animosity experienced by others. I also learned that forgiveness benefited me far more than my father.

As good stewards of time, we must realize that each passing day will never come again. What we do with that time is completely up to us. We can be wise and use it to build bridges, heal wounds, and cultivate love where there is hate. We can also choose to waste time in fear, resentment, and anger. I thank God often for the gift of my dad. However, I thank God more for the gift of time spent with him and the ability to see him not with my human eyes, but with the eyes of Jesus.