Gifted Stewards or Stewards of Gifts

The Heidelberg Catechism Q/A 55 says that one aspect of the “communion of the saints” is this: “Each member [of Christ’s body] should consider it his duty to use his gifts readily and cheerfully for the service and enrichment of the other members” (Rom. 12:4-8, 1 Cor. 12:20-27, Phil. 2:4-8).  Os Guinness says the same thing, only he looks at it from a different – and helpful – angle.

“God normally calls us along the line of our giftedness, but the purpose of giftedness is stewardship and service, not selfishness”

“In the biblical understanding of giftedness, gifts are never really ours or for ourselves.  We have nothing that was not given us.  Our gifts are ultimately God’s, and we are only ‘stewards’ – responsible for the prudent management of property that is not our own.  This is why our gifts are always ‘ours for others,’ whether in the community of Christ or the broader society outside, especially the neighbor in need.”

“This is also why it is wrong to treat God as a grand employment agency, a celestial executive searcher to find perfect fits for our perfect gifts.  The truth is not that God is finding a place for our gifts but that God has created us and our gifts for a place of his choosing – and we will only be ourselves when we are finally there.”

“God does call us to ‘be ourselves’ and ‘do what we are.’  But we are only truly ‘ourselves’ and can only truly ‘do what we are’ when we follow God’s call.  Giftedness that is ‘ours for others’ is therefore not selfishness but service that is perfect freedom.”

These quotes can be found in chapter 6 of The Call by Os Guinness.

shane lems
hammond, wi