I’ve really been processing lately what it means to be a faithful disciple. I oftentimes find myself praying and talking with others saying, “I just want to be faithful at the end of the day.” So it probably shouldn’t surprise me that I believe God has been teaching me a lesson lately on what it means to be faithful and I believe He has been showing that to me through stewardship.
I want to do all things with excellence. I want to be an excellent follower of Jesus, an excellent husband, an excellent father, an excellent employee, and an excellent friend. The problem is I focus too much on the “excellence” piece of everything while the whole time missing out on the stewardship side of things and therefore, actually become unfaithful in the calling God has placed on my life.
I believe God has called us to be a great steward of the things and relationships He has entrusted to us and not to focus on just being excellent.
Striving For Excellence Can Be Dangerous
Should we strive to be obedient as followers of Jesus? Of course! Is it a good thing to want to be a better husband and father? Absolutely!
However, what I’ve found in my own life is that I miss out on stewardship when I focus too much an excellence. Here are a few examples:
- I focus more on what I should be studying or what book I’m going to read and miss out sometimes on just spending time alone with God.
- I focus more on making sure I’m taking care of my family as a provider and miss out sometimes on being present with them.
- I focus more on what words I should say to someone and miss out on just building a relationship with them.
Now I’m not saying it’s always bad to focus on studying, taking care of family, or being careful with words, but what I am saying is that for me it’s easy in that endeavor to miss out on stewarding what God has given me in my efforts to be excellent.
Plus, the more I strive to be excellent, the opportunities for being conceited creep in even more VS when I’m focused on stewarding the things God has given me well, it requires me to humble myself towards Jesus.
Stewardship Is What God Has Called Us To
“As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussions, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.” – 1 Timothy 1:3-7
While the main context of these verses is about false teachers, I think we can miss what Scripture is telling us at times when we want to be excellent over anything else. I think we can make “confident assertions” in our life and forget understanding the value of relationships with God and with others. I think by focusing on stewardship, we’ll check our motives and hopefully have “pure hearts, good consciences, and sincere faith.”
God has placed you specifically where you are, in this time period, with the relationships around you for a specific purpose. As followers of Jesus we are only called to steward what God has given us which primarily happens through making disciples. God is the owner of everything and it is a gift and privilege to be able to steward what is His.
I’m a husband only to one wife. I’m a father only to my children. I’m an employee only to those who have hired me. I’m a friend only with the people God has placed around me. And most of all, I’m a follower of Jesus and that is my new identity.
We will never be excellent and get things perfect and that is good news. That’s why Jesus even came for us. We are imperfect people who are in need of a Savior each and every day. Rest in the fact that you won’t be excellent or perfect because Jesus is excellent and perfect on your behalf.
God has been teaching me that His yoke is easy, the burden is light, I’m not to be perfect and only Jesus is, and to make disciples who make disciples and care more about stewardship rather than focusing on being excellent.