How divergent this early Christian understanding of servanthood is from our present employer-employee relationship where work is often terminated at 4: 30 p.m. We understand nothing of returning to a home belonging to an employer, to a wife and children owned by him, to being controlled absolutely by one other than ourselves. Culturally, and particularly for those who are white, we are inadequately prepared to understand the steward-master relationship required by the Christian position. We must continually remind our selves- that we contracted an exchange when we knelt before that Cross—my life for His. Spiritual maturity is a continual process of letting go, of submitting to our Head.
I Corinthians 4: 2 states, “Moreover it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy.” It is proper to say that the Christian’s primary purpose as a steward is to add to the estate of his Master and not to that of his own. All we have belongs to Him—our clothes, our time, our families, our cars, books, inheritances, and homes. Our only consideration should be: How can we best use these possessions for His purposes?
After owning a series of second-hand cars, we were finally able to buy a new model station-wagon tailored to our growing needs—transporting four children, toting people back and forth to meetings, hauling garage-sale finds to refinishers, and bringing home produce from my father’s farm.
The first time David used the car for any extensive traveling was to pick up some inner-city kids from camp. While loading them all in the car he caught himself thinking, “Hey! those kids have dirty shoes. They’re getting the back all muddy and dirty.” Almost instantly came the reminder from God, “David, that new car isn’t yours. It’s Mine.”
My husband corrected his attitude, welcomed the gang into the car, and proceeded with the inward dialog: “OK, Lord. If You want Your car dirty and muddy, that’s fine with me. I realize it is more important to show love to these, Your children than to care about this, Your car.”
Within an hour of home, he realized that the car was slipping as it automatically shifted from one gear to another. It took so long to accelerate it became a hazard on the highway. The top speed slowly seemed to be decreasing—65, 55, 45—finally forlornly limping to our front door at 35.
Certain we had bought a lemon, we returned to the dealer in our two-week-old car from which we had gained such satisfaction. My husband, however, had learned his lesson well. Why worry? It was, after the Lord’s car. “Lord,” he prayed, “this is Your car. You reminded me of that fact when I was picking up the kids from camp. What are You going to do about Your car?”
“They put the transmission in wrong in Detroit,” the mechanic informed David. He poured metal shavings into a container and told us our warranty would cover Detroit’s error. The Lord’s car has since performed well, taking us 70,000 miles in a few years of traveling with a bare minimum of repairs.
Award-winning author Karen Mains continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
Karen has long had an interest in Christian hospitality and is the author of the best-selling book, Open Heart, Open Home.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags. This microfinance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
For decades, Karen and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. The are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and churches at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Likewise, pastors will find special resources to help them prepare effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.