On Being Good Stewards
The Holy Bible is replete of stories and reminders about being good stewards.
For one, the Gospel of Luke in chapter 16, verses 1 to 14 talks about an unusual parable about a dishonest manager who was accused of wasting his master’s possessions.
In order to secure his self of a good life after his master has terminated his service, the dishonest manager wrote off part of the debt of the people who owed his master and for this initiative, the master praised his manager for his prudence.
The Gospel of Matthew (Chapter 25, Verses 14-30) likewise talks about the Parable of the Talents where three servants were entrusted with the property of their master in the form of talents, each according to his ability.
The first two servants put their talents at work and gained more of the same amount, while the last servant who received only one talent gained nothing after hiding his master’s talent under the ground.
When the master returned he praised the first two servants and had the third one thrown into the darkness. The one talent from the third servant was given to the one who had five and gained five more.
The moral of these sample parables is to realize that God is a God who trusts and entrusts us with good things. We are just stewards who have the responsibility to make good use of all that he has given us. We are given possessions not to keep them for ourselves but to be wise and be enterprising in making good use of them to help others and to store up treasures in heavens and not on earth.
In terms of money or wealth, good stewards, especially who practice tithing, ask themselves how they can make better use of the money or wealth they already have. They ask what they can do more to increase their money or wealth to be able to give more. Aside from the normal employment, good stewards take into consideration setting up businesses or investing.
Money is not the root of all evils, but rather, the love of it. When we love money, we become selfish and we become blind to the needs of others. Fr. Rey Gella, in one of his homilies, says, “Man’s true wealth consists not in what he keeps but in what he gives away.”
I am inclined to believe that part of stewardship is to take care of others and not just of ourselves and our loved ones.
But what about that part of the Gospel where Jesus says, “You cannot serve both God and money”? If our wise generation and use of money serves not only ourselves and our loved ones but our community, our Church, foundations that serve the needy and others who are in need, then we can say that we are serving God as well.
Marj Baynosa is a chemical engineer and educator, who loves reading and writing in her spare time, especially on finance, faith, and other seemingly mundane things.