Stewardship: Turning Cultural Values Upside Down
Many Catholics wince when they hear the word stewardship. It's a reaction prompted by a mistaken notion that stewardship is just another way the Church asks for money. This is not true.
The Life of a Christian Steward
The decision to share one's financial resources with one's communion of faith is an important aspect of being a Christian steward. But that is only part of the story. Christian stewardship is the commitment made in response to God's generosity: to live a life of gratitude; to make daily decisions to glorify God; and to share oneself and one's gifts generously as circumstances and talents allow.
A life of gratitude is the first mark of a Christian steward. God has endowed His followers with more gifts than they can imagine- life and faith, time and relationships, health, talents, skills and material wealth. Everything one has is a gift from God, and a Christian thanks God daily for these blessings.
Stewardship Involves Daily Choices
Stewardship means making daily, conscious choices that glorify God. Decisions are made daily that reveal a person's priorities. The axiom, "Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are," holds true. There are such things as self-glorification and the exaltation of wealth, social status, race, success, power, peace of mind and security. However, one should be able to recognize the Christian disciple by the place God has in his or her daily life.
Christian stewards regard success, a high standard of living and the accumulation of material objects as secondary to a life of generosity, hospitality, and the privacy of personal relationship. In making these decisions, culture's values are turned upside down.