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The Spiritual Side of Stewardship

Father James Keller, M.M., founder of The Christophers, believed that each person is blessed with a unique purpose in life that belongs to no one else but them. Discerning that purpose requires some thought and reflection, but we can find it through the exploration of the talents God has given to us. This process of discovery is the first step in cultivating the spiritual side of stewardship.

                Through the Parable of the Talents, for instance, we learn of the surplus offering God wants in return for the gifts bestowed upon us. Part of this offering is the joy we take in the fruits of our labors because God delights in our happiness, but our offering is only made complete when we share our gifts with others.

In the First Epistle of Peter, we read the counsel given to early Christians: “As each has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” (1 Peter 4:10) This wisdom reveals to us that the surplus God wants in return for the gifts we have been given is simple generosity. How easy and natural it is for us to fulfill this request because it is through generosity that our lives are enriched.

Christ says, “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” When we act with generosity, we unyoke ourselves from the burden of self-centeredness, which only ever leads to isolation and despair. Generosity, on the other hand, leads to strong bonds within families, communities, churches, and the organizations we belong to and support.

The Parable of the Talents concludes with the master measuring his servants according to their resourcefulness and then declaring, “For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” (Matthew 25:29) This is not meant as a judgment against the poor or those who may seem less gifted than others, but rather to provide us with the insight to understand how we can store up riches in heaven.

Christ says, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)

When we begin to invest our time, talent, and treasure in ways that will bear spiritual fruits in our lives and in the lives of others, God will say to us what the master said to the faithful servant, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.” (Matthew 25:21)


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