Summary: Stewardship is about the choices we make because of who we are – our character in other words.
Learning To Live A Life
While on a trip to Switzerland, an America businessman was watching a Swiss clockmaker carving the case of an ornate cuckoo clock. As the businessman watched the clockmaker carve out the case, he was astounded at his slow rate of progress. The businessman finally said, “My good man, you’ll never make much money that way.” “Sir,” the clockmaker replied, “I’m not making money, I’m making cuckoo clocks.”
What are you making these days – a living or a life?
We begin today a three-week study on stewardship that will end on April 1st with One Great Day of Giving of which you will hear more about next Sunday.
Stewardship – what is it? What does it mean? It is one of those ‘religious’ words that we like to use and yet it is a very important principle in our lives no matter what we do or who we are. Here is one definition of what it means to be a steward -one actively concerned with the direction of the affairs of an organization.
One of the assumptions we make about stewardship is that it is always and exclusively about money and that is not true. This definition of steward is broad in its scope because a steward, whom we could today call a manager, must concerned about all aspects of an organization not just money.
God has given to us three tools that we are to use if we are to live a life as a good steward, a good servant, and a good manager of Jesus Christ. Those three tools are – time, treasures, and talent. They are the means that God gives us to make not just a living but a life.
And I would remind us today that the bottom line for us as both a person of Jesus Christ as well as the people of Jesus Christ is not financial but spiritual. “Why?” you might ask. Stewardship is about the choices we make because of who we are – our character in other words.
Jesus spoke several times in the gospel about stewardship and about being good stewards. He did so because God is concerned about what kind of character we are developing because our character is a very clear demonstration about our commitments and values. Our character testifies, if you will, about what we really believe.
How do you spend, how do you use your time? How do you spend, how do you use your treasure? How do you spend, how do you use your talents? The answer to these questions will help us determine what kind of stewardship we demonstrate in our lives.
Today, we are looking at our stewardship of time. Now compared to talents and treasures, all of us have the same amount of time – we each have 24 hours in the day. Some of us have more treasure than others and some of us have more talents than others. But, we all have the same amount of time. How do you spend your time?
How much time do you spend on family life, financial management, personal growth, physical health/fitness, social life, spiritual life/growth, and work? I know that we are different places in our lives and some of you are saying what social life? And work? I gave that up years ago!
One of the biggest challenges many people face is time management. In fact, millions of dollars are spent every year on time management seminars, books, and tools in order to help a person better manage their time.
Here is a web page (from Franklin Covey.com)from one such organization. They offer a lot of products, services, and publications to help us better manage our lives. They use terms like balance and principles, and personal effectiveness in their marketing. But, do they work. This particular company offers some personal calendars that some of my friends have used. They like them. But, they still struggle with time management. They still struggle with life management.
Here are some statistics from recent Gallup Polls on how we spend our time:
This one is from an August 4, 1999 poll:
· The Average American to Spend 13 Days Vacationing This Summer.
· From two different polls – one in May 1998 and one in May 2000 indicates that of those surveyed who drive themselves to work; the time has increased by 2 minutes. Average driving time in 1998 was 24 minutes compared to 26 minutes in 2000.
· A yearly poll asks, “In general, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way things are going in your personal life?” This past January of those who were satisfied was 85 percent. The lowest recorded was in July 1979 at 79 percent.
· Finally here is another poll that is done at least yearly regarding Bible reading. The most recent is October 2000 when 16% said they read the Bible daily, 21% weekly, 12% monthly, 10% less than monthly, and 41% rarely or never. The highest percentage of daily reading was in November 1990 when 17% said they did so, 23% weekly, 13% monthly, 25% less than monthly, and only 20% rarely or never.