We’re five days into 2018 and I’ve already had some laughable meltdowns. I am both the perpetrator and the victim here because I have zero chill when it comes to goals. I shoot for the moon and feel guilt and shame when I don’t master a new language, write-edit-and-publish a book, or wake up before the sun to have a two-hour quiet time each day. Do I even care?
While doing our Reflect + Rejoice Guide , HusBen lovingly pointed out that my “THOU SHALT NOTs of 2018” were a bit on the extreme side, in relation to my current lifestyle, and ever-so-slightly unrealistic. Of course I responded maturely by saying, “Oh, so you think I’m going to fail? You don’t believe that I can go without sweets for one measly year? You don’t think I can master French and go to bed before 10:00 for one stinking year? YOU OF LITTLE FAITH!” Disregard the fact that he has years worth of rich and frequent evidence to support his claim. My prideful stubbornness grants me superhuman powers and I was offended enough to plan reach my goals simply to prove him wrong (because that’s really healthy for a marriage). But he quickly quieted my suspicions and reminded me that whether or not I could or couldn’t accomplish these things was not the point, but rather why I would want to in the first place.
I know this is hypocritical, but when people get philosophical on my vanity I get all rolly-eyed and huffy. I say things I don’t know if I actually believe but that sound good at the time. For instance, I’m currently holding firmly to the belief that if I want to work out and eat nothing but grass and air simply so that I can look decent in a swimsuit, I feel that this is my God-given prerogative to be motivated by this and this alone. Vain? Sue me. And, full disclosure, I feel zero obligation to pretty it up with things like “I want to feel better” or “I want to have a more healthy lifestyle”. Nope, I just want to wear corduroys and not be worried about starting fire by the friction of my legs rubbing together as I walk. My body, my rules. How’s that for a holy ‘tude?
(This sassy attitude is undoubtedly a result of depriving myself of things like sugar and happiness for five days. Just saying, maybe diets are a terrible idea after all)
As a believer, I know that my body actually is not my own. My relationships are not a arbitrary product of the stars aligning, my personality and gifts are not up to my disposal. They were given to me to be used for specific purposes that God has on his agenda (Eph. 2:10).
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows” James 1:17
Everything we have has been given to us by God. So our lives are a matter of stewardship more than anything else. If we believe that every perfect gift is from above and that if we are in Christ we should seek the things that are above not the things that are on this earth (Col. 3:1) then our goals should be more about God than they are about us. Our goals should be aligned with God’s. There’s really no other way around it. He’s entrusted everything—our bodies, our relationships, our minds, our emotions, his word, our testimonies etc.— to us to steward while we are alive on this earth. When we make our goals about us, we lose all chill and receive a hollow reward. However, when we align our goals with what’s on God’s agenda and use his word to guide us as we develop our goals, then we get to walk on mission in freedom and experience that abundant life he tells us about in John 10.
It’s a matter of perspective. When we realize that we are not our own and that we were bought with a price, that changes things. We aren’t owners, we’re stewards. Therefore, it makes sense that we would consider what God would want for us this year rather than whacking away at a mile long to-do or not-to-do list.
It’s not what should or shouldn’t I do, but rather how can I steward the things He’s given me well?
So this will mark the first week of a series on stewardship. Over the course of the following weeks, we will explore how to steward well what God has entrusted to us, doing so in a manner that is worthy of the gospel and glorifying to God. We will be discussing how to steward the following:
Our relationships: family, friends, professional
Our roles as believers
Our testimonies and God’s word
Would love for you to join me on this journey of learning how to steward these things well!