This past Sunday kicked off our annual Stewardship campaign. For many, the stewardship campaign is their least favorite time of year. Mainly because a stewardship campaign asks us to look at our lives and examine how we are responding to God's grace with our time, talent, and resources. Some come away from it with a sense of guilt. And yet, stewardship is an opportunity to reflect first on the grace and mercy of God operative in our lives. Each year, for me, it gives me a chance to look over the last year and consider what God has been doing in my life and name the ways Jesus has been at work in me and through me. Such always inspires me. To know God takes interest in me, even me, and loves me is astounding. I couldn't imagine not saying thank you to God. The generosity of our time, talent, and money is predicated upon God's generosity toward us. To bless God in return is an act of worship.
In their book, Practicing the King's Economy, Michael Rhodes and Robby Holt remind us that practicing this type of giving shapes our hearts to reflect our King. We each have been created in God's image as we hear in the book of Genesis. In other words, we are made to be a reflection of God's person. We can never be a full representative of God. Only Jesus can be this. However, our character and actions are a testimony to our God. We see and experience in God an unfathomable generosity. God continues to bless us and the rest of creation. As agents of God, those created to mirror such generosity, when we practice being generous with our entire selves, (physical, spiritual, financial, and more); we not only honor God, but reflect God's character in the world.
I find it both unnerving as well as an honor to be given the job of reflecting God's character in the world. Obviously I feel deficient in this job. And yet, what an honor God would say I am worthy to reflect God's generosity. Consider this week the honor it is to reflect God's character, particularly God's generosity. Moreover, how is your heart being shaped by your generosity? Lastly, know in the endeavor to reflect God's generosity, God will give you what you need, including God's Spirit, to fulfill this calling!