“The Bible offers us three metaphors that teach us God’s view of life: Life is a test, life is a trust, and life is temporary assignment.” Rick Warren
We all want things to be fair. Equality seems to be a fundamental drive of our human nature. When raising little ones, parents do their best to ensure fairness across the board.
“You each get two slices of pizza.”
“You already had a turn, let your sister try.”
“He’s older than you. When you are his age you can stay up ‘till 9”
We seem to come out of the womb with a highly developed “fair-meter,” which is particularly sensitive when it comes to our own needs, desires, and what we believe is ours. This mindset follows us into adulthood and is perpetuated by a world constantly pushing messages about what we deserve, what we should have, and how vital it is to gain wealth so that we can get to that ever-shifting place of “security.” Jesus plainly refutes this thinking saying,
“…’Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.’” Luke 12:15
True life, according to Jesus, is found in a rich relationship with the God who is the supreme Owner of all things, even our very lives.
“The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” Psalm 24:1
How does it strike you that everything belongs to God? Is this a new thought for you? The reality is that this has always been the case. Consider the opening pages of Scripture where God creates Adam and Eve and gives them a job to do straight out of the gate.
They were to wisely care for everything He had created.
It all belonged to God, but it was their job to cultivate the land and to make something useful, beautiful, and beneficial out of all they had been given. Tim Keller speaks of humankind’s role as being both creative and assertive. He says, “It is rearranging the raw material of God’s creation in such a way that it helps the world in general, and people in particular, thrive and flourish.”
Whether you are a teacher, salesman, tradesman, insurance adjuster, or one of a million other things, your job is to steward the many facets of your life for God’s glory and the good of others. Think about it, only humans bear the imprint of God upon our souls. As His image-bearers, our lives function best when we recognize our rightful place under His leadership. The good news is that His leadership is loving and has our best interests in mind!
Remember God is our good Father who delights to share all He has with His children. If God is like this, then we don’t need to cling too tightly to the things we possess. We can hold everything with an open palm, recognizing all that we have is a gift. Our time, energy, resources, intelligence, opportunities, and even relationships are blessings from God which He has given for us to manage well during our short time here on earth. Our clinched fists and silly anxieties about what we do or don’t possess begin to fade away as we learn to walk in the freedom of stewardship.
“Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” – 1 Corinthians 4:2 NIV
Question 1 How does the idea that all things belong to God strike you? In what ways is this difficult to accept? In what ways does it bring comfort or conviction?
Question 2 It has been said that in the long term plans of God, we are all short term solutions. How does this truth – that your life is not ultimately your own strike you either positively or negatively?