Stewardship is often spoken of across three domains: time, talent, and treasure. When we budget ourselves, we’re supposed to look at each area and spend (or invest) wisely.
I hate budgets. Always have. I see the need for them. I even appreciate their use, but in my mind I’ve always preferred a contrary approach to spend plans.
My perspective on matters of finance is typically to ask “What can I do to earn what I need?” rather than “What do I have to do without to live within my current means?”
But, as I’m getting a few miles under my belt, I’m realizing the shortsightedness of that view when it comes to a broader look at stewardship — one that takes all three domains into account.
Context on the term is helpful here. In the New Testament there is a Greek word used which we translate into our English word stewardship. Transliterated it’s oikonomia.
It comes from two distinct root words: oikos, meaning “house,” and nomos, meaning “law.” Together, it literally means the “law of the house” or the “administration of household affairs”.
The historical use often referenced a household servant managing the resources of the family on behalf of the paternal head. The idea being that there is a limited amount to spend and it has to be distributed wisely, efficiently, and effectively across a prioritized list of needs.
The entrepreneur in me sees a financial need and immediately begins plotting a way to earn the gap between my account balance and the price tag of whatever is in view. That works, to some degree, in the treasure domain, but what happens when you venture into the other areas?
Time and talents are different altogether. Talents, to some degree, can be sharpened, but by and large we’re gifted with certain strengths and aren’t likely to excel in areas contrary to our natural bent. And time…oh, that incessant time…it never grows. From the day your born it does nothing but shrink away, one tiny tick at a time.
And so, as one called by God to steward the resources He’s given me, I need to remember to spend them wisely. The same goes for you.
Spending is a necessary first step. But there will come a time, and the sooner the better, where we dads need to look beyond the expense of our resources for short term transactions and start investing them for long term yields.
“A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children…”Proverbs 13:23
What am I doing today that will yield a return, not just in my daughter’s life, but in my future granddaughter’s as well?
How can I apportion my time, talent, and treasure to leave this world a better place for the generations to come?
What about you?