Think of us in this way, as servants of Christ and stewards of God’s mysteries. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. 1 Corinthians 4:1-2
The Nature of True Apostleship
I was reading a story recently about a ball-point pen salesman who persuaded a small business owner to order 50,000 pens. Having closed the deal, the salesman was filling out the order sheet in his sales book when suddenly the owner shouted, “Stop…I’m canceling my order!” Sometime after the salesman had left, the store owner’s bookkeeper asked, “Why did you cancel that pen order?” “Why?” responded the owner. “I’ll tell you why…because that salesman talked about the virtues of ball-point pens for almost an hour. He described every benefit imaginable about ball-point pens. Then he turned right around and wrote my order with a felt-tipped pen! How can I trust anything he said about the ball-point pens he’s selling when he doesn’t even use them himself?”
According to Paul, the nature of true apostleship is tied to how faithful we are with the things that have been entrusted to us. In 1st Corinthians 4:2 the apostle writes: “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.”
As Christians, we believe that everything we have comes from God. We also believe that God is the true owner of these “things” and that we are the trustees. Now these “things” include the spiritual treasures that we hold dear to our hearts, as well as the physical treasures that we hold in our hands. As trustees we have been given the responsibility of managing God’s treasures in a way that is in keeping with the terms of the trust and advances the cause of the owner.
When we fail to live in such a way that demonstrates our full trust in God’s extravagant generosity we are sending mixed messages. For example, how can we proclaim that God so generously supplies all of our needs, and choose to withhold our tithes and offerings because we fear that “being generous” will leave us empty handed? Indeed, nothing hurts the cause of Christ more than this kind of hypocrisy.
We love because God first loved us with a love that is extravagantly generous. With this in mind, I want to encourage you to do everything you can to “prove faithful” with the trust you have been given. Because when it comes to advancing the cause of Christ through your management of the things that belong to God, what you do in the name of Jesus is always a more effective witness when it is consistent with what you say in the name of Jesus.
Dear God, thank you for all that you have entrusted me with. Help me to recognize that you are the owner and I am the trustee. Guide and direct my heart and my hands so that I might prove faithful to your trust and bear witness to your generous love. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
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