I recently was FB’d a video on being a “Guardian.” It’s a little wooshy for me, but it did drive home so salient points so I thought I’d share it and then discuss the Biblical truths and nuggets hidden within it.
I’m sure we’ve all heard we are to be stewards. But somehow, the word steward falls short. I mean, you have a wine steward. You have a ship steward who takes care of your cabin on a cruise ship. It somehow seems like a position and not a calling. It seems like employment. Employment by God. Who we all know is watching all the time, but somehow it’s easier to dis’ God than our boss. And we all know, as employees, we have all fallen short.
The Free Online Dictionary defines steward as: 1. One who manages another’s property, finances, or other affairs.2. One who is in charge of the household affairs of a large estate, club, hotel, or resort. 3. A ship’s officer who is in charge of provisions and dining arrangements. 4. An attendant on a ship or airplane. 5. An official who supervises or helps to manage an event. 6. A shop steward. 7. A wine steward. stew·ard·ed, stew·ard·ing, stew·ards To serve as a steward or as the steward of.
That definition is somehow lacking in Godly intent. Hmm. So, if we were to be stewards of our money or our time or our bodies, we just work for God. I don’t think so. Doesn’t sound too Biblical to moi. Steward doesn’t work for me.
Okay, let’s move on. Am I the owner of my money or my body or my time? Once again I don’t think so. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says “19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
Then of course there is the The Parable of the Talents. “14 For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ 26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest.28 Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.
29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ ”
So, we are to take care of what God has given us. But somehow, in modern language, the word STEWARD just doesn’t do it for me.
What about guardian? The Free Dictionary defines guardian as “1. One that guards, watches over, or protects. 2. Law One who is legally responsible for the care and management of the person or property of an incompetent or a minor.3. A superior in a Franciscan monastery.”
That sounds a lot more like our duty to God. We are to be guardians of our bodies. We are to be guardians of our time. We are to be guardians of our finances.
I’m sure by now you’re thinking that I’m just arguing semantics. I am. But semantics often speaks to us emotionally. Say it out loud. I am the steward of my body vs. I am the guardian of my body. If you’re like me, the latter speaks to me viscerally, the former speaks to my mind. There is a difference.
I think if more people were to perceive our duty to God as a GUARDIAN there would be less overweight Christian woman. I think there would be less Christians in credit card or just stupid debt. I think there would be less Christians wasting their time playing “Farmville.” As long as we accept the watered down, modern day version of steward as our duty to God, we will continue to fail. Let’s ratchet our duty UP to Guardian.