As a high school student, you may or may not have heard very much about the concept of stewardship. By definition, stewardship is the management or care of some else’s possessions.
Catholics consider stewardship to consist of three parts, which are time, talent, and treasure. We can each use our time, our talents, and our treasures to bless one another and serve the Lord. True stewardship, is an appreciation for what we have, realizing that everything is a gift—a blessing that God bestows on us.
In the Bible, there are over 2,500 verses that relate to stewardship. A careful look at a few Bible verses will help you discover that nothing really belongs to us. Everything comes from God.
Read 1 Chronicles 29:11-12, Psalm 50:10-12 and Haggai 2:8 and answer these questions:
Q1: What does God own?
Q2: Think about everything that is part of your life—your home, family, friends, and talents. Also consider the material things you have—clothes, computer, phone, sports gear, etc. Can you identify anything that did not originate from God?
Q3: What are some ways you can recognize God's ownership?
Think about getting a gift from your grandparents. They are trusting that you will appreciate the thought and effort they put into getting the gift for you and you will take good care of it. In other words, you will be a good steward of it.
In a similar way, God has given you the gift of life as well as everything that exists in this world. As a good steward, you are called to appreciate it and take good care of it.
Q4: How can recognizing that everything is a gift from God change your perspective?
In our secular world, there is a constant rush to acquire the latest thing without having a clear understanding of what it means to be a good steward of our new possession. We might get the newest and the shiniest thing just so we can say we were the first one of all our friends to have the newest and shiniest thing.
Just because we have more or are the first to have the latest and greatest does not mean we appreciate what we have. When we are in a hurry to acquire more and more things without really appreciating what already own, we are being materialistic. Anyone can be materialistic, by continuing to buy more and more stuff without regard to how they will take care of it or if they really need it.
Materialism can be summed up in a quote attributed to Will Smith, "People buy things they don't need with money they don't have to impress people they don't like."
Q5: Do you want to buy things you don’t really need in order to impress other people? How do you think owning things will impress other people?
Talent is another part of stewardship. In Biblical times, a talent was a form of money. Today we use the word talent to mean our skills or capabilities. The time part of stewardship is how we decide to spend the 24 hours a day God has given us.
Perhaps you have an affinity for taking care of children and have established yourself as a reputable babysitter. You may have taken time to add to your credentials such as attending CPR/First-Aid training or babysitter certification classes.
These little extras boost people's confidence in your ability, your talents and in return, people will pay you for your time. People may pay you more or less depending on a variety of factors, but you will begin to earn a little money in exchange for your time. You are using the talents God has given to you to earn money. It is very important to understand the relationship between time, talents, and treasure in order to become a faithful steward.
Maybe your talent isn't in the area of childcare, but you would still like to earn some extra money during your summers or on weekends. You ask your dad to show you how to use the lawn mower and weed trimmer so you can start a lawn-mowing business. Once people take a chance on you, if you do the job well, they be willing to pay you for your work. They will also be more likely to recommend you to others. This is another way God bestows his blessings upon you as you use your time and talents as an opportunity to become a faithful steward.
In each of these scenarios, God will give you opportunities to demonstrate good stewardship. Once you are given a chance to show you can do a good job, whether it is by babysitting or mowing lawns or some other type of work, it is up to you to continue to act in good faith, maintain a good reputation, and be a good steward of your talents.
Q6: List three talents God has given to you.
While you may be tempted to think you are something special by having the ability to earn money, it is important to thank God for these gifts and talents by being responsible stewards of the treasure they provide to you.
By understanding that everything comes from God, you will develop a confidence and a peacefulness knowing that you can rely on God completely. When you have total trust in God, it becomes easy to stop giving material things a level of importance they don’t deserve.
Read Luke 3:11
As a way to actually experience this verse from Luke, go through your room and collect things you no longer use that are in good condition. Find an organization that could use those items and donate the things that will be useful to those who are struggling.
Q7: What did you learn from the Go Deeper activity?
Discuss Deuteronomy 10:14
Q8: How does this verse apply to everyday life?
The next session is about wants versus needs. There may be a lot of things we want, but the only things we really need are food, clothing, and shelter.
The Go Deeper activity for next time is all about the difference between needs and wants.
CLOSE WITH PRAYER