Stewardship is not about giving money. It's about giving everything.
My temperature is normal again so I tried to do my rituals before this year's end. I learned this from our treasurer in church; she's a good and wise mentor. All the expenses in the year should be diligently recorded and the budget for next year should be planned already. I love the idea of a "faith budget." For your expected budget for the upcoming year, you need to list all your needs (fixed budget) and even some of your wants (negotiable) then pray and work for them. You should have an excel for it or write it down even if you're a student right now, promise it will make a change if you faithfully do it.
When I started to receive money, I learned to manage my finances even if it's not big as the others. Even if it's a small amount, we need to be faithful to it. We need to be good stewards of God's blessing and we must give back to Him; 10% of what you received or more if you want should be given to the church to which you belong. It's your tithes. The Lord loves a cheerful giver, He does not look at the amount you're giving, He's looking beyond that, He's looking in your heart. For instance, you have a 500 pesos budget in a week as a student, save already the 50 pesos and everything is yours. Look at this promise in Malachi 3:10, "Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need." God is generous and He owns everything. You cannot outgive God. I have many testimonies of His generosity; you will lack nothing when You depend on Him.
And at this moment, when I browsed my finances and expenses I don't have a large income compared to the previous years, yet God still supplies all my needs; He opened doors. Of course, I also need to cut my wants now. No highlighters, books, or journals. Good thing, we have e-journals and ebooks now. ( that's all my wants! hahaah and kape sa 7eleven)
While doing all this stuff, the youth visited our house, asking if I feel better already. I was shy to go out because I looked so pale and dry but still manage to converse with them. They have beautiful hearts. And I realized being a good steward isn't all about finances, it's being a good steward of all He gives. Our strength, talent, time, and gifts. Yet, most of the time I failed also but I'm learning all from those failures. (hope so)
We can't do it on our own, we need His grace to be a good steward.
I remember when I was in college, I started to become active in the church. Our pastor trained us so hard. I mean, he would push us to join different conferences, imagine even if it was pastor's and leader's conferences he welcomed us and the only verse we knew is John 3:16 (just kidding). We would just smile and freaked out when we really don't know the answers LOL. I won't forget when we attended the Hermeneutics seminar, it was so hard like why they needed to study all those literary texts in the Bible. He also forced us to join in mission exposures and at times we really need to say NO to other stuff that we thought was more important. He would give us books from John Piper, Dale Carnegie, Max Lucado, and John Maxwell like all his books; he would require us to read and have a reflection paper. He would assign us to pray or to lead the people we really don't know and work with them with patience and humility. Moreover, our parents were also at peace and grateful because he was there thus they allowed us and even sometimes forced us to.
I'm glad I said yes during those times even if I really don't understand and comprehend the reasons for doing all those things. There are times that I complained a lot because of all the work, I didn't understand all those pieces of training would prepare us for new things ahead. And now, he's gone, I am so grateful to the Lord that I met him. And seeing this new generation, it's the fruit of his labors. He prayed for us and he served us like what Jesus did for his disciples.
He was a good steward. He was so generous, he constantly gave gifts to all of us every Christmas. He didn't have a wife or children but He touched many people's lives. He didn't have a nice house but he was our home and everyone's home is his family. He didn't see all the beautiful places here but he went to desperate places, gave hope, and share Christ. He never hesitated to share all the things he learned from his life and shared with us. He was my spiritual father and a good steward of His grace.
I still have many things to learn from this life and from God. I'm glad, I am surrounded by different people who help me and share something with me. Thus, we should never be afraid to share our time, talents, skills, and whatever we have right now because God can use all of those for His glory if we let Him.
Good night pips!
As each has received a gift use it to serve one another as good steward of God's varied grace.1 Peter 4:10