I am, by nature, a selfish person. I really like my time, my money, my kids, my husband, my talents, my stuff. At least, I did.
In His wisdom, grace and mercy, the Lord always disciplines His own. I’ll save you the gory details, but suffice it to say: I got whupped. In my pain and misery, I went to the Word, seeking new perspective and comfort. Can you guess what I found? None of that stuff was mine anyway.
We live in a culture that glories in the individual, in material goods, and in free will. Nothing is ever enough, and we need only stretch just a bit farther to reach the next level of material glory. Not content to confine our gathering of materials to goods alone, we have invented new forms of greed. Example A? “Me Time”. What is that, anyway? It must be something good, because it’s championed by so many. I’m still looking for the spot in the Bible, though, where Jesus says I should take some Me Time to become a better person. I look at the woman in Proverbs 31, and she doesn’t appear to have any Me Time at all. Jesus did direct us to rest. We need to rest. But as far as I can figure, rest in the biblical context involves resting as a family.
There is something very freeing about realizing that God owns everything. He is the Lord and Master of this vast universe, and everything in it is His. In His gracious way, He allows each of us to steward some small part of it for Him. Nothing I “own” is truly mine. Not even my kids. They are His kids, created for His glory. My job is to raise those kids for Him. I am responsible to train them in the way they should go, to help them walk with Him, and to pray over them. Ultimately, those little people I love so much belong to Jesus. For me, that was a hard change in perspective to come by. However, I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have my guys belong to than Jesus, the King of the Universe. Right?
This coming month, I’ll be talking about teaching stewardship to kids. In a time when the United States hasn’t balanced a budget in 3 years, and we’ve racked up more debt as a country in the last 3 years than all the years before combined, I can’t think of anything more timely. Stewardship isn’t confined to money, so I’ll be talking about some of the following areas:
- Relationships: God, Kids, Spouse and Friends
- The Heart – Guarding our Precious Resource
- Money – for the littles and for 6-12th grade
- The Body
- Gifts and Talents
I think the most difficult part of teaching stewardship is modeling it. We are responsible to show our children how to live. We’ll talk a little about that too. I welcome your input. I certainly don’t have it all together in this area. One thing is abunduntly clear to me, though: Everything belongs to Jesus, and I’m to use whatever portion He has given me to His glory.
The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it… Psalm 24:1
~ Danika Cooley
Danika Cooley is the author of When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther (Fortress Press, 2015), Wonderfully Made (CF4K, 2016), and Bible Road Trip. Her work has been featured in internationally-recognized children's magazines over 150 times.