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GOOD STEWARDSHIP and SMART LIVING

We can choose how we live. God created us with the power to choose. Perhaps that is part of what it means to be created in God's image. By choosing well, we can make our lives more manageable and more meaningful.

The following anecdote by an anonymous author was torn from the back of a church newsletter: Two friends, Timothy and Christopher, new converts to a little mission church, were having the following discussion:

"Christopher, if you had a hundred sheep, would you give fifty of them for the Lord's work?"

"Yes, Timothy, I would."

"Would you do the same if you had a hundred cows?"

"Yes, I would."

"Would you do the same if you had a hundred horses?"

"Yes, of course."

"If you had two pigs, would you give one of them to the Lord?"

"No, I wouldn't; and you have no right to ask me, Timothy, for you know I have two pigs."

It's easier to admire good stewardship principles in the abstract! The shift to a more manageable life will not be without a price. The promise is that there will also be great rewards. “The word of Christ will dwell in us richly.” (Colossians 3:16a).

Being convinced to live more principled lives means that we stop to honestly evaluate our priorities and apply ourselves to integrating these priorities into the way we live. Principled living requires us to change not only how we live but also how we think and how we view the world and the people around us.

Principled living is more than time management. It's more than wholistic health. It's more than quality time versus quantity time, self-care versus social reform. Principled living requires us to become more focused-to serve one God instead of many. Principled living coaxes change in the core of our being as we begin to question some widely held assumptions and ask ourselves:
• What are the principles that guide my actions?
• What is my fair share?
• When is enough, enough?
• Why don't I feel good?
• How can I live a more integrated faith?
• Who are my neighbors, and do I really care about them?

Adapted from 'Tis a Gift to be Simple: Embracing the Freedom of Living With Less by Barbara DeGrote-Sorensen and David Allen Sorensen (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1992).

04/25/2007