I had a lot of fun over the last two posts with a survey asking, “Who is Jesus to You?” I tried to make the case that one thing we often overlook is that Jesus is not just someone who gives… He’s someone worth giving to as well.
But are we really ready to make the commitment to serve a King? It sounds a bit oppressive, and even worrisome!
I think once we make that decision to call Jesus our King, we’ll see 3 major shifts that make huge impacts in our lives and in our world. What are they?
1. Owner to Steward
The first major shift occurs with the realization that we don’t own anything. We are simply stewards of the King. What is a steward, you might ask? In Greek, the word oikonomos is used to describe the role:
oi˙kono/moßb: one who has the authority and responsibility for something — ‘one who is in charge of, one who is responsible for, administrator, manager.’
— Louw and Nida, p. 477
Note that in this definition, there is no mention of ownership. The “something” that we are responsible is not ours… it’s the King’s. And stewards are expected to manage in such a way that it furthers the goals of the true owner.
If you’d like to see how Jesus viewed this concept, check out Matthew 25:14-30. You’ll see a pattern: The King has valued treasure… he entrusts to others… he comes back to see how it went. It won’t be any different for us.
The second major shift is from
2. Tight Fisted to Open Handed
Maybe I’m over-generalizing, but when people own things, they tend to get a little selfish. Why would I give my money to someone else? The same could be said of giving away time… or talents.
There are two major thought processes here that need a little nudge. First, nobody is asking you to simply “give away” anything. We are asked to manage all these things in the King’s best interest. That means we take care of others, AND we take care of family and ourselves. Sure, it may not be as much as we’d like (especially if we’re self-centered or greedy), but it will be enough.
Secondly, it’s not “my” anything. Who gave me that talent? Who gave me the ability to earn? When I view everything as God’s, I have a much easier time sharing with those in need.
3. How Little to How Much
When I’m asked to give from “my” stuff, whether it’s time or money, I’m immediately faced with a reality: I don’t have much! We fear that there will not be enough.
It’s easy to get discouraged when we look at the size of the needs versus the size of our resources. Why bother? We can’t even make a dent in the needs of this world!
And this is true… UNLESS we ALL start making the shift from owner to steward. What if everyone in my community started acting like stewards of the King? We’d have access to the cattle on a thousand hills… we’d be tapping accounts that know no ends.
Can you imagine how much talent we’d have access to… how much money? What if every person that attends a 100 member church decided to give two hours a week to the community? 2 hours seem doable, and it would yield 200 hours a week in serving the community! Go ahead and ask one individual for 200 hours in a week and you’ll get the picture pretty quick!
When everyone shifts from owner to steward… from tight fist to open hand… we will certainly have enough to make a difference in the world in the name of the King.
Sometimes I wonder if that’s how God planned it: that there would be enough for every person in the world, but that not every person would have enough. What better test of stewards could there be?
– What holds you back from serving the King?
– Which of these three shifts seems easiest for you? Hardest for you? Why?
– What other “shifts” can you see as a result of serving the King?