For teens (and perhaps for most of the rest of us, as well), one of the most demanding standards of a maturing faith experience is that description of Christian behavior we call stewardship. This comprehensive’ principle of Christianity teaches us a perspective on daily living that runs strongly contrary to the secular worldview which suggests that we live life primarily to please and serve ourselves and that we are successful in life only when our hard work and effort result in big financial rewards and extensive material possessions.
Two Emphases of Christian Stewardship
- Accepting. All we have in life (our time, our talents and abilities, the things we posses, even the opportunities we have to improve) are gifts from a loving Creator (see 1 Chronicles 29:10-16). Acknowledging those gifts is an act of worship.
- Giving. Taking part in and supporting ministry (giving our time” abilities, possessions, etc.) are investments we make in the: kingdom of God, which will result in happy dividends in the eternal joys of heaven.
God’s children seek ways to improve their abilities to faithfully act as stewards of the generous gifts of our Heavenly Father. The foundation of true success lies in the recognition of God’s ownership (see Ellen White, Education, 137). We build such character traits as honesty, integrity, diligence and thrift in order to honor God as the Originator of all our resources and to share those blessings with others who may benefit from them.
Five Ways to Apply Stewardship Principles
- Give first priority to God’s kingdom. Matthew 6: 25-34.
- Serve others in love. Galatians 5:13. Matthew 25:40. Acts 2:44,45.
- Conserve the resources of the earth. Genesis 1:26-30. Genesis 2:15.
- Give tithe and offerings. Leviticus 27:30, 32. Malachi 3:10.
- Work at all things with diligence, honesty and integrity. Proverbs 22:29. Leviticus 19:36. 2 Kings 12:13-15.
From: ABZ’s of Adventist Youth Ministry
Permission to copy for use in the local congregation or group.