We have seen less importance placed on becoming a good steward, and more importance placed on what we can gain. I would also say that we have seen a negative shift in the way people view responsibility. Let me be the first to tell you that things won’t happen the way you want them to until you take some responsibility. You have to take responsibility for your actions, the decisions that have gotten you to where you are today, and for moving ahead.
The Story of Brandon
One of the best examples I have ever seen of someone who knew how to be a good steward with their lives was my boss at my first job, Brandon. He is still to this day the best manager I have ever known. Brandon knew how to coach others to become better, how to get great results, and he was also very personable with everyone. Because of this, Brandon was able to build trust and relationships with both the team and with customers.
Looking from the outside, it didn’t seem like he should be this far along in life. He was young, he really hadn’t been in management for a long time, and he was attending grad school full-time while working full-time to pay for all of his schooling. But, even with being stretched in every direction, he understood the importance of doing well with what he already had. He didn’t let busyness deter him from pouring into the lives of others.
I knew he had something that I wasn’t able to grasp yet, but now I understand. He was being a good steward. He knew that he didn’t have to go out and gather a bunch of different attributes first, but he was already enough. He didn’t wait to hopefully become a better leader someday, but he saw life as an opportunity and took advantage of it. Even though Brandon was in a waiting season himself, he knew what it meant to be a good steward with what he already had.
Being A Good Steward With the Present Moment
Brandon displayed what it meant to do well with what someone already has, but what about the trend of obtaining more, more, more? The want of something more isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when it becomes your sole purpose, it becomes your wrong motive. When having more is always your focus, you miss out on each daily opportunity to use the talents and passions you already have in your possession to lead in the lives of others right now. When your focus is on the present moment, you will be able to give more to those around you. In doing this, you will have more influence. If I am using John Maxwell’s definition of leadership, being influence, nothing more nothing less, then this is where we need to focus.
When you understand the need that people have for you and you know what needs to be done, it then becomes your responsibility to be a good steward and give life all that you already have. When you learn to be a good steward, you learn the importance of treasuring what you already have in your possession. When you learn how to be a good steward, growth always comes.
The Waiting Season
When things are going great, you probably don’t feel a huge need to focus on being a good steward, because things couldn’t be better. But, let me challenge you to not lose focus on what is at hand, so you can continue to grow. Being a good steward not only maintains greatness in life, but stewarding well is what grows people into becoming something better. Maybe you currently find yourself in the midst of waiting and are wondering if the next door will ever open again. Maybe you are making plans and are getting ready to put the work in. Or, maybe you are submerged in the trenches of your work right now, wondering when this pace will ever let up. Or, maybe you are in the season of reaping the benefits of the work you have put in for so many years and are wondering what to do with all of it now. Plain and simple, being a good steward in every life season is what will keep you growing.
If you are currently in a waiting season or have been there at some point in life, you know just how difficult this season is if you allow it to be. But, understand that waiting doesn’t have to be as difficult as most people make it out to be. Waiting will try to keep you to yourself and will try to settle you into contentment, but at some point you have to move out of your comfort zone and dare to make a change. At some point you will have to go and do. You can use the waiting season as a time to step out and go do something different.
There is no better time to plan your life out and all the intricacies of it than in the waiting season. Once you do this, you can start moving through this season and get to the next. Time is too precious to waste. You can use time to impact others in huge ways, especially in the waiting season.
Dreams Paired With Planning
The dreams that you have are what inspires people. People find inspiration in what you are pursuing with your life, but your dreams still need a plan to make them happen. Dreams excel when they are put into a plan. Your plan is simply a means to achieve your dreams, but every inspiration starts with a huge dream burning inside of you. You can be a good steward by taking responsibility now. Live your story, tell it, learn from it, and plan it out.
Within the practice of planning out your dreams, you get to see what you care about. You should pencil each and every detail out, even the gifts you want to bring out of others are important to identify. Planning is just another way to be a good steward with your life. Your plan should impact the lives of others, because it will always be people that matter.
But, even after constructing a plan, remember that only having a plan is never enough. At some point you will have to put in hard work. At some point you need to come to the realization that forward movement is the only thing that makes great things happen. When you are a good steward and put hard work into the right things, you will find success, because hard work always pays off.
I know the sexy solution is to say that you can use mind over matter and just think these things into existence, but the truth is that putting hard work into the right things always wins. I know it takes a lot of time to put in the necessary work, but it isn’t possible to skip this most important step of the process. The truth of the matter is people want to skip this step because again, people want to write off responsibility and take the easy way out.
But, when you realize the importance that hard work has in making things happen, making excuses seems like a really dumb thing to do. I used to dream of the day that things would become easier, but that day never came and it doesn’t look like it will show up anytime soon. I used to make excuses as to why I couldn’t be there for others due to a lack of time, but I hadn’t yet discovered the power of being a good steward with my life. The fact is that there are still people I come in contact with every second of the day who need me, and I still have the same responsibility to be a good steward that I’ve always had.
Yes, I am now busier with my family, I have more commitments, and I work more than I ever have before, but the difference is that I have stopped making excuses as to why I can’t make the time for people. When others aren’t our top priority, all of this is in vain. All of this work we put into Leadership In Life doesn’t matter when people don’t matter. This idea is that serious.
Being a good steward with my life didn’t just happen somehow, though. There came a time in my life where I had to declare that no matter what amount of time I was given, I would use it to the best of my abilities to impact the lives of other people. I had to make the decision to be a good steward with my time, and you can make the same decision right now.
Are You Doing Well With What You Already Have?
In most cases, results will speak for themselves. If you are a business owner or an employee at a business, then you know that looking at your profit and loss statements will show if you have been a good steward with your resources. If you are working on a project for the business you work at, then you know that the time you put into your project will show itself by displaying just how prepared you really are when it comes time to present. When you are a good steward with your financial resources, you know that it will show both in your expenditures and your savings.
Being a good steward is what strengthens character and integrity within each and every one of us. Whether we are talking about work, time, or money, being a good steward with our resources sets us up for greater success. It shows that we are paying attention, that we care about our responsibilities, and that we want to do well with what we already have.
This concept of being a good steward is something that is hardly ever discussed in the world of wanting more. When is the last time you really thought about being responsible for taking care of what you already have and growing it into something better? When something is given to you and huge, new opportunities come into your life, take the responsibility to be a good steward with them. Once you do well with what you have now, more will come to you. That’s a principle that has always worked, and one that will remain true until the end of time.
Sometimes it may seem easier to give something away, delegate it, or even forget about it, rather than being a good steward with it. The thing is that we usually have the seed already in our hands, but we may not have the ultimate solution in our possession yet. If you can imagine planting a seed and taking care of it until it grows into a full plant or tree, this is what being a good steward looks like. When you live life well, you can know that what you already have in the ground will eventually grow to be a beautiful life-giving plant.