God’s “Stuff” is all of the material things in this world.
God entrusted mankind with stewarding the earth. I’m not personally responsible for all of the earth, but I am responsible for the little piece God has entrusted to me.
Of all the stuff that passes through our hands, I’ve broken it down into three categories to help me process how to best manage it all. How can I invest the stuff I steward into God’s Kingdom? My categories are:
The stuff you live with (home, furniture, yard)
The stuff you use (car, tools, appliances, clothing, etc.)
Your resources for stuff (money)
Stuff You Live With
The world presses us to make our homes and yards into showplaces to impress. I believe our homes should be pockets of beauty and creativity because we reflect a God of beauty and creativity. And homely comfort where the family gathers. And order. And individuality (as opposed to the latest trend - shiplap, anybody?) Even if I don’t have the gift of hospitality (I don’t), my home can be used to bless to anyone who visits, even if it’s just the Amazon delivery person.
Stuff You Use
So many things! There are things that we absolutely need that our grandparents never thought of! (microwave ovens for example.) As the Little Mermaid says, “there are gadgets and gizmos galore.” Every thing that we own owns a little bit of us—the time and attention that it takes cannot then be given to something else. I’m so thankful for modern appliances that free up my time. (Roomba) But my iPhone tempts me to waste much precious time. Every thing should be evaluated by this: will it free me, or will it enslave me?
This is the area w e most often think of as the subject of stewardship, and there are volumes and volumes written to advise us on how to best use our money. I just love the old idiom “Don’t love money and use people, use money and love people.” Money is a tool. How can it best be used to invest in eternity? In this war between The Kingdom of Light and the Domain of Darkness, how can this tool help in the fight?
Here’s a sweet thing about our Heavenly Father: the steward of the household also gets to enjoy the blessings of the household. Of course we can have stuff for the enjoyment of ourselves and our family. I just have to remind myself sometimes that there’s a bigger and more important story and it’s not all about me and my enjoyment. The parable of the steward in Luke 19:11-27 gives us insight into how God views our use of what He entrusts to us.
May we never be slaves to any thing or make an idol of any thing. Instead may we find the balance between caring diligently for the stuff in our care and letting it go as just stuff.