Originally published in the 2017 Spring Quarterly Explorer

…is “stewardship.” It is third because “faith” and “balance” are necessary antecedents to stewardship.

“Faith,” because without faith you would not be reading this article. “Balance,” because without balance, faith becomes craziness – the antithesis of faith. Faith produces wholeness and health, and craziness produces a lack of balance, leading to fanaticism, which is no faith at all. And that is why those two words are more important than stewardship.

But once those minor theological trivialities are out of the way, it is all about stewardship.

Why? Because “stewardship” tells you the nature of your relationship to God. And, there are only three possibilities: God works for you, God and you are equal partners, or you work for God.  In sum, stewardship asks and answers, “Who’s the boss?”

And once you have settled that issue then the rest of your life falls faithfully, peacefully, and contentedly into place.

And, then there is only one question left, “How then shall I manage that with which God has entrusted me?”  Or, in other words, “What may I do to be a faithful steward?”

Asked and answered moment-by-moment, that question becomes the ever sure and certain beacon guiding your life into a mature, thoughtful fulfillment in Christ your God.

Once “boss-ship” is determined, the only question left is how shall you honor God with those things which he has entrusted you to manage on his behalf?

But… you must decide who is boss. Only then will the faith be able to assume its proper place and proportion in your life and only then will your life become that which God promises: fulfilled, strong, and joyful.

That is why “stewardship” is the third most important word.