Walking The Tightropes Of Life – Balancing Store And Steward

I feel like I’m walking on another tightrope.  Let me explain.

Have you ever purchased something only to put it on a shelf or in a closet to keep it in mint condition?

Maybe you bought a brand-new car only to park it in the garage.  Maybe you purchased a book only to keep it in its wrapping to protect it from being damaged.

I’ve done this before.  I’ve purchased things only to store them up to keep them pristine.  For example last year, I purchased a couple of packages of undershirts.  These can be difficult to find in my size as I require extra-large tall sizes, and most stores don’t stock tall sizes.  I still had some older undershirts that I wore for a long time.  Meanwhile, I let the new ones sit in my closet in the original packaging for the better part of a year – unused.

The more I think about it, this doesn’t seem like the best stewardship.  What good does it do to let something sit on a shelf that was meant to be used?

Last night, I wrestled with this as we finished up youth group at the church.  Our church currently has two buildings on its campus.  The first building was built with a focus on our kids ministry.  The second building which is currently being utilized as our worship area is primarily designed to focus on our student ministry.  As we continue to grow, we will need build another building or two to keep up, and we’ll need to be diligent in planting other campuses/churches around the area (but that’s another topic).

Getting back to last night’s youth group, I was cleaning up after the evening activities when I came across a piece of drywall.  Apparently, someone had ripped a hole in one of the wall’s of the building.  I have no idea how it got there, but I was initially ticked off.  What are kids thinking?  Don’t they realize the money that has gone into building a facility focused on them?  Why don’t they take care of it?

As I drove home, I continued to wrestle with my anger.  And then it hit me, there were seven new kids at youth group last night.  Every week, we are seeing new students checking out the youth group.  Most churches would be ecstatic to experience this type of growth.  The youth group is reaching students who come from broken homes, unchurched families, and typical teenager struggles.  The group is having an impact on these students and their families.

Sure it’s important to take care of our stuff – the resources that God has given us, and it’s also important to be good stewards of the things we have.  What good is a building that is locked up all week?  A building is meant to be used?  A building focused on teenagers will occasionally experience busted drywall.

I think this is what Jesus may have been getting up in the Sermon on the Mount when he said:

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  Matthew 6:19-21

Let’s store up things that matter.  Let’s be good stewards of what we’ve received.  And let’s learn to look at life and our stuff from a different perspective.

How are you doing with this balancing act?  What are you storing up?  Are you being a good steward?  Do you ever struggle with this?  Jump in the conversation by leaving a comment.