On Stewardship and the Orthodox Life - Part 38: Prove It
“Put your finger here and see my hands…” (John 20:27 RSV)
One of the basics of good stewardship is confidence. And in what is the most important thing that good stewards must have confidence? It is that God is both Creator and Provider. We must have confidence that God will provide what we need to live our lives. We must believe that God will continue to be true to His Word that in His abiding goodness He will give all that we need – all that we need.
Yet we live in a cynical and disbelieving world. We along with most everyone else in this modern world are suspicious of almost everything. As life goes on in this progressively electronic world, we are suspicious of every email, every phone call, every communication that cannot be “proven” to be reliable. The Holy Apostle Thomas would have understood this!
Few of us would give of our valuable time or our hard-earned money to any group or institution or individual who cannot convince us of their sincerity and trustfulness. Today’s giver demands the requesters’ financial reports and letters of recommendation, not to say a high mark with the Better Business Bureau or Angie’s List. Does it sound like the Apostle Thomas? "Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe" (John 20:25 RSV).
And just what does Christ do to allay Thomas’s doubts and lack of confidence? Christ appears to Thomas personally. "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing." The doubt is gone. The confidence is restored. With such confidence, Thomas goes from that Upper Room on the Sunday after Christ’s Resurrection to a full reception of the power of the Holy Spirit that would propel him to a life of giving and sharing all that he had for the sake of Christ.
Being stewards of the gifts of God means, first of all, setting aside our doubts and skepticism. It means embracing the Christ who comes to us in so many ways. It means stepping out in faith and trust. It was St. Paul responding to the generosity of the Church in Philippi who said to the members there: “God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19 RSV). And so He will.
Prove it? He already has.
This weekly series of brief thoughts on stewardship and Orthodox life is brought to you by your Diocesan Stewardship Commission.
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