Stewardship is a concept deeply rooted in Christian theology and practice. As Christians, we are entrusted with various gifts, resources, and responsibilities by our Heavenly Father.
We must be faithful stewards of these blessings. In this article, we will explore 5 qualities of a good steward in the Bible.
Through these qualities, we can learn to manage God’s provisions with wisdom and integrity.
Qualities of Good Steward in The Bible
When the Bible talks about stewardship, it often refers to the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to a person’s care.
These qualities, deeply rooted in scripture, outline the framework of a steward who not only manages resources wisely but also lives a life reflective of biblical values.
Here are five qualities of a good steward according to biblical principles:
- Faithfulness in the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30)
In the Parable of the Talents, Jesus teaches us the importance of faithfulness in stewardship.
The master entrusts different talents to his servants, and the faithful ones invest and multiply what they receive.
However, the unfaithful servant buries his talent out of fear. This parable illustrates that good stewards are faithful, diligently using their God-given resources to bring about growth and prosperity.
In our lives, being faithful stewards means using our time, talents, and treasures to advance God’s kingdom. We should be willing to invest in the lives of others, share the Gospel, and contribute to charitable causes, always to bring glory to God.
- Accountability in the Parable of the Dishonest Manager (Luke 16:1-13)
Accountability is another crucial quality of a good steward. In the Parable of the Dishonest Manager, Jesus tells the story of a manager who must give an account of his actions.
He quickly takes responsibility for his actions and wisely manages his master’s resources. This parable emphasizes the importance of being accountable for our stewardship and acting prudently.
As good stewards, we should regularly assess how we manage the resources and responsibilities entrusted to us.
Are we using them in a way that aligns with God’s will? Being accountable means recognizing that everything we have ultimately belongs to God, and we are called to use it in ways that honor Him.
- Generosity in the Widow’s Offering (Mark 12:41-44)
Generosity is a quality that shines through the story of the widow’s offering. In this passage, Jesus observes a poor widow who gives two small coins to the temple treasury.
Despite her poverty, she gives with a generous heart, offering all she has. Jesus commends her, emphasizing that her sacrifice is more significant than the larger donations made by others.
A good steward understands the value of generosity. It’s not about the quantity of what we give but the heart behind our giving.
God loves a cheerful giver, and our generosity should reflect our gratitude for His abundant blessings.
Being generous allows us to be part of God’s work, supporting the needy and sharing the love of Christ with the world.
- Wisdom in the Parable of the Shrewd Manager (Luke 16:1-13)
Wisdom is a quality that every good steward should possess. In the Parable of the Shrewd Manager, Jesus tells of a manager who, facing dismissal, uses his wisdom to secure his future by forgiving debts owed to his master’s debtors. While the manager’s actions may seem unconventional, Jesus commends his shrewdness.
As stewards of God’s resources, we are called to make wise decisions. We must manage our finances, time, and talents in a way that reflects godly wisdom. Seeking God’s guidance through prayer and Scripture can help us make sound choices that align with His will and benefit His kingdom.
- Gratitude in the Healing of the Ten Lepers (Luke 17:11-19)
Gratitude is a quality that often goes hand in hand with good stewardship. In the story of the Healing of the Ten Lepers, Jesus heals ten lepers, but only one returns to give thanks. Jesus notes this and emphasizes the importance of gratitude.
A good steward should be grateful for God’s blessings. Recognizing and appreciating the gifts, resources, and responsibilities entrusted to us is essential.
Gratitude keeps our hearts focused on God, and it motivates us to use what we have wisely and for His glory.
Integrity is foundational to biblical stewardship. It represents a commitment to God’s standards, even when faced with pressure to conform to worldly ones.
Daniel and his companions exemplify this in the Book of Daniel. When taken into Babylonian captivity, they are selected for service in King Nebuchadnezzar’s court.
Offered the king’s rich food and wine, they refused, not wishing to defile themselves with items possibly offered to idols or forbidden by Jewish law.
This decision could have led to severe punishment, even death, but their commitment to integrity was unwavering. Instead of succumbing to fear or rationalizing compromise, they proposed a test, asking to be allowed only vegetables and water for ten days.
Their physical appearance at the end of this period, healthier than those who ate the royal food, demonstrated God’s faithfulness in response to their integrity.
This act of faith had far-reaching effects, influencing the court’s perception of the God of Israel and setting the stage for Daniel’s future influence.
Diligence in the Bible is about consistent and careful management of the tasks and resources entrusted to an individual.
Proverbs 27:23 uses the analogy of a shepherd who knows the condition of his flocks—a metaphor for the attentive care required in stewardship.
This extends beyond mere oversight; it’s about engaging with and understanding the intricacies of one’s responsibilities.
The diligent steward does not only work hard but works smart, discerning the best way to manage resources.
This principle can be applied to all areas of life, from personal finances to leadership roles. It’s about being proactive, not reactive; it involves planning, foresight, and a willingness to get into the details where necessary.
The benefits of diligence are often illustrated in the Bible as leading to abundance and success, as opposed to haste or laziness, which can lead to poverty and loss.
Jesus Christ redefined leadership as an act of service. In a time and culture where leaders lorded their power over others, He taught that true greatness comes from serving.
This is a radical departure from the world’s understanding of hierarchy and authority. In Luke 22:26, Jesus contrasts the worldly leader with the one who leads in God’s kingdom: the greatest should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.
This principle of servanthood is a powerful aspect of stewardship because it focuses on the well-being of others.
A servant leader prioritizes the needs of those they lead, seeking their good above personal gain.
In the context of stewardship, this means managing resources in a way that benefits others, showing care and compassion, and being willing to take on tasks that others might avoid.
It is in this selfless service that a steward reflects the heart of Christ and exercises true biblical leadership.
Humility is a key attribute of a good steward as portrayed in the Bible. It implies a recognition that everything one has is entrusted by God and therefore should be managed with a spirit of servitude rather than ownership. A humble steward does not boast in their management but gives glory to God for the opportunity to serve.
- James 4:6 – “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
- Proverbs 22:4 – “Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life.”
Prudence involves thoughtful decision-making that considers the long-term consequences of one’s actions. A prudent steward in the Bible is one who carefully contemplates their choices, seeks God’s guidance, and avoids wasteful or rash decisions that could squander resources or harm relationships.
- Proverbs 14:8 – “The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways…”
- Ephesians 5:15-16 – “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”
Resourcefulness is a vital quality for a good steward in the Bible. It refers to the ability to handle situations with innovation and creativity, especially when faced with limited resources or challenging circumstances. A resourceful steward finds ways to overcome obstacles and make the most out of what is available, reflecting the biblical principle of making wise use of all that God provides.
- Luke 16:3 – “The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m ashamed to beg…'”
- 2 Corinthians 9:10 – “Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.”
Embracing resourcefulness, a steward in the biblical sense becomes an agent of innovation and ingenuity, reflecting a trust in God’s provision that transcends mere material wealth. It is an affirmation that stewardship involves not only what we are given but also what we can create or enhance through God’s wisdom and guidance.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the significance of the Parable of the Talents in understanding stewardship?
The Parable of the Talents underscores the importance of faithfulness and diligence in managing the resources God has given us. It teaches us that good stewards should invest and multiply what they receive, using their abilities for the advancement of God’s kingdom.
2. How can I become a more generous steward, even if I have limited resources?
Generosity isn’t solely about the quantity of your resources but the attitude of your heart. Even if you have limited resources, you can practice generosity by giving a portion of what you have and by offering your time and talents to serve others and support charitable causes.
3. What are some practical ways to grow in wisdom as a steward?
Growing in wisdom as a steward involves seeking God’s guidance through prayer and studying the Bible. Seeking counsel from wise and experienced believers can provide valuable insights. It’s important to continuously educate yourself in areas of financial management and responsible stewardship.
Being a good steward in the eyes of God is a noble and challenging calling. The Bible provides us with valuable lessons and examples that showcase the qualities of a good steward. These qualities, including faithfulness, accountability, generosity, wisdom, and gratitude, form the foundation of responsible stewardship.
As we strive to embody these qualities in our lives, we honor God by managing the resources and responsibilities He has entrusted to us with care and integrity.
By doing so, we contribute to the flourishing of God’s kingdom and fulfill our role as faithful servants in His divine plan. May these qualities guide us in our journey of stewardship, allowing us to bring glory to our Heavenly Father and inspire others to do the same.