If you’re a churchgoer you’re probably more than well acquainted with term stewardship. A couple times a year, the pastor stands up, and bemoans how important it is that you give your first fruits to the God and the church. Basically, the Levitical Laws tell the people of Israel all about giving things to God (or, at least, his representatives here on earth). And Jesus, being the good Shepherd, obeyed God:
He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. (James 1:18)
In a way: Jesus is the “first fruit” that God received from His harvest of sons and daughters that He will one day receive from the earth.
Stewardship of the Church
So… God loves a cheerful giver, right? And we should give willingly to the Church.
Great… I should tithe… gotcha.
But you see. I’m broke. Like, really broke. Like, so broke that I really, really, REALLY like Matthew 19:23…
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 19:23)
Like so broke that I don’t think I could convince my wife to let me give $5 a week. So, I feel a little bad about that, and thus I give a LOT of time. I’m a Methodist, and when we join the church we answer this question:
As a member of this congregation, will you faithfully participate in its ministries by your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service, and your witness?
Well, I can’t give many gifts, but I can compensate a bit with my presence and my service. (I’ve talked to God about it… I think he’s cool with it.)
Stewardship in General
And, fortunately, there’s more than one kind of stewardship. Recently, the Pope has been in the news with a little encyclical “Laudato Si” about stewardship of our environment.
But what about our bodies?
I’ve struggled with my weight for forever. It’s frustrating. It’s the result of deep-seeded psychological issues related to fathers and food addiction. And, despite my excuses, it’s inexcusable to me now.
God gave us all a wonderful gift when he breathed life into us. He put us inside this fabulous machine, and what the hell are we all doing with it?
- More than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese. [source]
- The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008 U.S. dollars and the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight. [source]
- About one-third of children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are considered to be overweight or obese. [source]
What the hell are we doing?
Well, I know what I’m doing. I’m going to succeed this time; addiction or not. Because I’m tired of squandering this particular gift from God.