What Are Stewards in the Bible? Meaning and Importance of Stewardship
- Christianity.com Editorial Staff
- 2020 15 Jan
What is Stewardship?
In biblical terms, Charles Bugg defines stewardship in the Holman Bible Dictionary as "Utilizing and managing all resources God provides for the glory of God and the betterment of His creation." Christian Stewardship regards the obligation of Christians in managing and utilizing intelligently the gifts that God has given. The Christian steward is not only responsible for the financial blessings provided by God but also the spiritual gifts that are given through the Holy Spirit. God wants human beings to be His stewards in the work of creation, redemption, and sanctification.
Stewards in the Bible
Joseph's story in Genesis is considered one of the best examples of biblical stewardship (Gen. 39).
After Joseph was brought to Egypt, the Lord made him a prosperous man. While Joseph was in the house of his Egyptian master, the Bible says, “So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him, and he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had” (Gen. 39:4).
Relating to the biblical stewardship definition - “the manager of a household” - it is clear why Joseph is an extraordinary example of what it means to be a good steward.
Importance of Stewardship
According to scripture, God created Earth for mankind and we are now stewards of His creation. This means it is our responsibility to look after and take care of this world. We should accept this responsibility and appreciate God's gift of creation for being our home. Our stewardship of creation involves the caretaking of the environment and animals as well as our families and communities. Being a good steward in this world is one way of expressing our love for God and our gratitude to Him.
Bible Verses about Stewardship
1 Peter 4:10 - As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace:
Genesis 1:28 - And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Genesis 2:15 - The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.
2 Corinthians 9:6-7 - The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Colossians 3:23 - Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
Luke 16:11 - If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?
Proverbs 16:3 - Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.
Malachi 3:10 - Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.
Titus 1:7 - For an overseer, as God's steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain
Matthew 25:14-29 - The Parable of the Bags of Gold
“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’ “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’ “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them."
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