Belongings

Dave Gifford

READ : Luke 19:11-27

I have often felt overwhelmed by the demands of “stewardship,” the teaching that we must use our resources for God because we will be judged by our use of them. The thought of all my selfish hoarding and squandering of my possessions, talents and time is quite guilt-inducing. Stewardship seemed to condemn me to slavery, since my life is not my own. And it seemed to condemn me to judgment, as the servant in our story was judged.

Meditating on the Heidelberg Catechism helped me to see stewardship in a positive light. Its first question is, “What is your only comfort in life and in death?” The answer: “That I belong . . . to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. . . . Because I belong to him, Christ . . . makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.” What a different perspective! We belong to God. Our lives have purpose. We have a home.

With this perspective, we focus on our

belonging,

not on our

belongings.

Guilt turns to gratitude. And fear of judgment changes to the anticipation of hearing Jesus compliment us as he complimented the good servants in our story.

PRAYER

I thank you, Lord, for all that I am and all that I have. I give myself back to you with a thankful and willing heart. Amen.