When we change the way we think, we can dramatically transform the condition of our lives.
This ten part series we will inspire you to ‘Dare to Think Differently’ about stewardship. Let’s dare to take stewardship outside of the time, talent & treasure box! We will ponder the joy and wonder of Christian stewardship when it is lived out each and every day through ten life-changing virtues.
The 1st Virtue – Humility
When you make a firm and conscious decision to follow Jesus, you will inevitably run into stewardship. Stewardship makes our discipleship complete and opens the door to the abundant life Jesus promised.
Happiness is the ‘Abundant Life’…Jesus said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
- A life that adds value to others – who we are is God’s gift, who we become is our gift to God…and to others.
- A life filled with the joy of recognizing and rejoicing in God’s goodness every day!
- A life that enjoys peace of mind, the kind of peace that only Jesus can give. John 14:27
We live in a culture that encourages self-reliance. “If it’s meant to be it’s up to me” is a familiar mantra. While it is right for us to be confident and trust in our own abilities, we should never lose sight of the truth. Humility means that we acknowledge the truth about ourselves and about God. Let’s start with our opportunities, talents, and abilities for example. These human capacities that we rely upon have only one source…they come from our good and gracious God. Sadly, many people today tend to forget this and that leaves little room for humility. The consequence is to live under the endless pressure of relying solely on themselves.
With pride out of the way, God is able to go to work in our lives and accomplish things we would have never thought possible!
At the heart of stewardship is letting go of any prideful claim that our opportunities, and abilities, and any income we are able to earn because of these gifts, are of our own doing. Everything we are able to accomplish or accumulate in our life has its source, and purpose and meaning, in God. This way of thinking gets pride out of the way and God is then able to go to work in our lives to accomplish things we would have never thought possible! “His power at work in us can do far more than we dare ask or imagine. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:21)
Humility does not require that we embrace an overly timid stance in life.
“Humility does not mean that we think less of ourselves…it simply means that we think of ourselves less.”
This is healthy humility! A humble disposition like this puts God first, and it gives us the God-grounded confidence, and courage, to boldly develop, use, and share our gifts for his glory. Healthy humility leads to the fruitful stewardship of all that God gives us.
St. Teresa of Calcutta said, “If you are discouraged it is a sign of pride because it shows you trust in your own power. Your self-sufficiency, your selfishness and your intellectual pride will inhibit His coming to live in your heart because God cannot fill what is already full. It is as simple as that”.
Humility is the antidote to the deadly sin of pride. Most importantly, being humble about the source of our gifts fills are hearts with gratitude to God. When we are grateful to God it increases the depth of our hope. That in itself makes for a much more abundant life!
Three good habits to cultivate the virtue of humility in your life are:
- Study, reflect, and apply everything the Word of God has to say about the virtue of humility.
- Each morning, take a moment to pray that you will recognize when pride rises in you in the day ahead, and call upon the Holy Spirit to take it away!
- Practice the habit of intentionally confronting pride in your day-to-day experiences for one month. Keep a journal of the results, recording how it has changed your life. You can use the journal for each of the nine other virtues in the months ahead.
Joseph Daniel Potvin
Joppa Stewardship Leaders, Ottawa