No, no, don’t run away! This is not a sermonette on tithing, I promise.
So often, Christians think a talk about stewardship is synonymous with being harangued to give more money to the church. While tithing is certainly a form of stewardship, it is only one part.
Stewardship began in the Garden of Eden when Adam was put in charge of the things God created. Adam and his helper, Eve, were to care for all God had so generously provided. This is still what stewardship is all about: caring for and nurturing God’s gifts and using them for His glory.
We need to be good stewards of our physical bodies by following healthy practices, but when our health or physical perfection becomes all-important, we have stopped practicing stewardship and made our physical body into an idol.
The same principle applies to caring for our natural environment, the gift we share with all God’s creatures. Being prudent in our use of this gift is good stewardship, but we mustn’t make nature our god. If your environmental conscience is stronger than God’s still small voice, that is no longer stewardship.
Any time the object of our stewardship, whether physical health, the natural world or our God-given blessings and talents comes before the Gift-giver and Creator of all, we have moved into the shadow of idol-worship and out of the light of God’s will.