God has given many commands to humanity that reveal His desire for our well-being. Jesus said that if we love God we will obey these commands. And He made it simple for us to comprehend when He said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself” (Luke 10:27).
These two commands are bound up within each other and for the most part, Christians understand that loving God with all of their being is of utmost importance. However, the command to love our neighbors tends to take the backseat at times to our own desires and ambitions.
A wise steward recognizes that the heart of stewardship is found in love.
Many times, Christians tend to think of stewardship as relating to financial and material resources and forget that stewardship also includes loving and caring for the people God has placed in their lives. Many times, Christians struggle to love the people who they disagree with or people who have sinned against them. However, true love isn’t about how we feel toward others but rather how we act toward others. 1 Corinthians 13:4-13 says it this way:
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
Our feelings are fleeting, but God expects us to act with love toward others. God calls us to be patient, kind, selfless, humble, and longsuffering with even the difficult people in our lives.
A wise steward recognizes that the heart of stewardship is found in love. If we love God we will love the people He has created and we will keep His commands. A wise steward understands that loving others includes sharing compassion with the poor and blessing them with the resources God has placed in his care. In doing so, a wise steward completes the virtuous cycle of love by giving back to God in an act of worship that brings glory to his Creator.
—Steve Yoder, CAM Foundation staff member