Stewardship is inseparable from discipleship, so our efforts to live as stewards must be firmly rooted in Christ. When you wake up each day, dedicate all your thoughts, words and actions to the Lord, and ask Jesus to guide and bless your stewardship. Here are some other ways to make stewardship a way of life.
1. Conduct a personal or family audit
Consider the following questions:
- How do I spend my time?
- What entertainment activities do I engage in?
- How much time do I spend attending to the needs of others?
- Do I pray regularly? How often and what sort of prayer?
- How do I spend my money?
- Am I so far in debt that I have become a slave to it?
- Am I living within my means, or do I spend money I do not have? Why?
- Am I a grateful person? How do I express my gratitude?
Set aside time to share with God your answers and the thoughts and emotions they elicit. Pay attention to how you feel and what thoughts arise during this prayer.
2. Start small, dream big
Your audit will reveal habits, attitudes and actions that are not completely aligned with the life of a grateful and generous steward. Don’t try to change everything at once! Take one thing and work on that. Pray about this decision and ask Jesus to journey with you on the way of stewardship.
3. Do a daily stewardship check-in
Toward the end of each day, set aside a few minutes for prayer. Begin by asking God to help you see how you have used his gifts that day. Slowly recall your day and make note of how you used your time, abilities and resources. Thank God for the ways you were able to serve others and make good use of your gifts. Ask the Lord to pardon those times when you wasted or misused these gifts. Make a plan for how to live a more authentic stewardship life tomorrow. End with a prayer of praise and gratitude to God for the joys and blessings of the day.
4. Form a community of stewardship
Connect with others in your parish who want to grow in an authentic life of stewardship. Meet regularly to pray and share your struggles and how God is gifting you with grace and encouragement.
5. Pray with Scripture
The Gospels are filled with examples of how Jesus invited people into a deeper relationship with God and challenged them to be good stewards — to bear much fruit! Read each Gospel slowly, asking God to use his word to challenge and inform your journey of stewardship.
Source: Deacon Pierce Murphy
Northwest Catholic - May 2020