Stewards of This Trial

green leafy plant starting to grow on beige racks
Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

Here’s a question for you. When life goes sideways, kind of like it is right now, which approach do you tend to take?

  1. Survivalist – God, how can I get through this?
  2. Steward – God, how can I grow through this?

#1 is the default choice, but #2 is preferable. I’ve spent most of my life taking the first approach, but I’m starting to re-think it.

Usually when Christ-followers think of the concept of stewardship we limit it to the idea of managing our “time, talent, and treasure.” From a parable that Jesus told, we understand that God has called us to maximize everything that has been entrusted to us, whether it’s a little or a lot, whether it’s meager or mucho.

But we don’t normally include our troubles as part of the stewardship package. When a setback comes along we don’t usually see ourselves as stewards of it, but more likely as victims of it. As humans, we naturally see trials and troubles as invaders of our personal space and as threats to our well-being.

But, I wonder, would it make a difference if we saw ourselves as stewards of our trials?

When crisis does come our way, would it help if we thought of it not just as something that we have to survive, but as something we are called to handle with humility and grace because of its potential value? What if in the grand scheme we are stewards of our trials just as much as we are stewards of our time, talent, and treasure?

James, the half-brother of Jesus, seemed to think this is the case. He gave some very challenging but positive insight on how we can be better stewards of our trials:

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. –James 1:2-4 (NLT)

The upshot of James’ argument here is that we should embrace trials because they provide rich and fertile soil for spiritual growth. If this sounds counterintuitive to you, you are not alone my friend. At first glance it sounds like an absurd idea, but eventually the reality of it begins to sink in. Character development happens best when we are in trial.

But it isn’t automatic. As James indicates, it depends largely on the attitude we adopt, which takes us back to the question: When life goes sideways, kind of like it is right now, which approach do you tend to take?

  1. Survivalist – God, how can I get through this?
  2. Steward – God, how can I grow through this?

It’s a new day with God. Run with it.

“What if in the grand scheme we are stewards of our trials just as much as we are stewards of our time, talent, and treasure?”

DOTR-www-color

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s