Summary: A steward is one who takes care of another person’s affairs but owns nothing himself. In today’s world he might be called a manager.
THOUGHTS ABOUT THE PASSAGE:
St Augustine wrote
Where your pleasure is, there is your treasure.
Where your treasure is, there is your heart.
Where you heart is, there is your happiness.
(In Who Said That by George Sweeting)
In this chapter, Paul presents three characteristics of a true minister of Jesus Christ:
1. He is to be a faithful steward (vv.1-5).
A steward is one who takes care of another person’s affairs but owns nothing himself. In today’s world he might be called a manager. It is not my money (He is letting me handle it for a while), my church (He is just giving me a place to serve Him), or my children (They are on loan to us for a few years so that we can train them). A true minister is to be one who shares God’s wealth with the family of God. He may not please the members of his household. His responsibility is to be faithful to his master. He is to do what his master tells him to do. Paul brings to our attention three judgments in the life of a steward.
a. What do you think of me? (v. 3a). Paul says that it doesn’t matter what the Corinthians may think of him. His Master’s judgment is what counts.
b. What do I think of me? (vv. 3b-4a). It is not of supreme importance what a person thinks of himself. It is very difficult for us to judge ourselves. In fact there is a fine line between a clear conscience and a self-righteous attitude.
c. What does God think of me? (v. 4b). The final and proper judge is the Lord. When He comes He will judge the acts and motives of all Christians. Then each person shall have the praise which is rightly due him.
It is very tempting for me to judge fellow Christians by evaluating whether or not they are good followers of Christ. I must remember that it is only God who knows a person’s heart, and He is the only one who has the right to judge.