The slow poison of a long stewardship
blog, I unwrapped the subject of “the slow poison of a same place.” It’s a phenomenon whereby we become
presumptuous about ownership of things over which we are just stewards, because
we have them for a long time.
This extends from our homes or church buildings to less
obvious stewardship issues like our bodies or our children. Because we have absolute control over our
children in their early years, too many of us extrapolate that level of control
into their teen years when they need to develop decision-making skills and
Children chafe and rebel when parents misunderstand
their stewardship and fail to downshift the level of their control as the years
go by. I always had a high need for
autonomy and my parents wisely encouraged me to explore the world. Still, by the time I was 18, I had probably worn out my welcome
at home. Everybody was happier when I
left for college.
Many children leave home and never look back. Their parents need to control them was just too
great. A related issue is that many
others are ill-equipped to navigate the real world because their parents
provided too big of a safety net for them.
Or consider the presumptuous way in which most of us
exercise (I use that verb advisedly) stewardship over our bodies. If we really grasped the fact that we are not
human beings periodically having spiritual experiences but are spiritual beings
having a temporary human experience, we’d be more careful in how we treat our
“earth suits.” We wouldn’t eat our way
to an average of 25 extra pounds. We’d
recognize that we’re occupying space and time at our maker’s discretion.
Some people may read this and hear a rebuke and condemnation. Please don’t.
If we can just grasp this issue of stewardship, it can transform our
thinking. We can begin exercising
authority in areas where perhaps we’ve been drifting. God made Adam a steward. He does the same with us. And the most difficult stewardship is the one
that lasts a long time.