To Be a Christian Steward
Thoughts from the U.S. Bishops' Pastoral Letter on Stewardship
"As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God's varied grace"
(1 Pt 4:10).
What identifies a steward?
Safeguarding material and human resources and using them responsibly are one answer; so is generous giving of time, talent, and treasure. But being a Christian steward means more. As Christian stewards, we receive God's gifts gratefully, cultivate them responsibly, share them lovingly in justice with others, and return them with increase to the Lord.
Disciples as Stewards
Let us begin with being a disciple—a follower of our Lord Jesus Christ. As members of the Church, Jesus calls us to be disciples. This has astonishing implications:
Mature disciples make a conscious decision to follow Jesus, no matter what the cost. Christian disciples experience conversion—life shaping changes of mind and heart—and commit their very selves to the Lord. Christian stewards respond in a particular way to the call to be a disciple. Stewardship has the power to shape and mold our understanding of our lives and the way in which we live. Jesus' disciples and Christian stewards recognize God as the origin of life, giver of freedom, and source of all things. We are grateful for the gifts we have received and are eager to use them to show our love for God and for one another. We look to the life and teaching of Jesus for guidance in living as Christian stewards.