I remember working at my first job with a direct supervisor. He was great! But I found myself at times frustrated because he always took lunch first, he would seem to get longer breaks, and he never had to come in on a Saturday for a special arrival. My 17-year-old self thought, “Someday, I’ll be the boss . . .” My idealization of management assumed the “boss” was the one who had it easy and had earned the right to kick back and leave the unwanted tasks to those that he or she led. As a leader now, my thoughts are quite a bit different! Jesus invites me to see myself as a steward.
For those of us who lead others in some capacity, we are called to fulfill this role for the benefit of those we lead. As Jesus Followers, we can be tempted to see our roles in our communities as means of entry into some exclusive type of club. We move through the ranks, looking to gain perks and privileges afforded to members. But Jesus calls us to grow not in PRIVILEGE, but in RESPONSIBILITY!
All of us are, in some way or another, stewards. Something (or someone) has been delegated to our care or management. Peter today invites us to think of stewardship not as, “What will I get out of it?”, but rather as an opportunity to SERVE. What has God entrusted to you? Is it a business? A family? Money? Leadership? Time? God’s entrustment is ALWAYS first and foremost an invitation to serve others.
When we orient ourselves as stewards rather than as owners, we remember that whatever assets we have, whether money, possessions, or power, are not actually ours to begin with. Stewards remember that ultimately their intentions are not to be skewed towards their own benefit; on the contrary, stewards remember they serve the interests and purposes of THEIR boss. Jesus, the ultimate example of humility in leadership, was always about His Father’s business (Luke 2).
As you read today, allow Peter’s words to speak into your stewardship. God is gentle and kind. In his kindness, he desires to reorient us ALL back into the ways of the Kingdom.
As a reminder, here are our steps for S.O.A.P.:
- Find a quiet place and read the SCRIPTURE of the day. Read it again. Read it slowly. Read it out loud!
- What OBSERVATIONS did you make? What does this passage teach you about God or yourself? Are there any calls to action? Do you have any questions?
- How will you make APPLICATION of this scripture and live your life differently today in light of what you just read? Be specific!
- Let it marinate. Take some time for PRAYER – thank God, confess any shortcomings, and ask to be empowered. Sit for a few moments and see if God has anything else for you.
Here is our passage for the day:
2 Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. 3 Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example. 4 And when the Great Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor.1 Peter 5:2–4 (NLT)