On Stewardship and the Orthodox Life - Part 6: “You are Not Your Own”
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.’ (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
God is not dependent upon us for the advancement of His cause. He might have made the angels his ambassadors of Truth. He might have made know His will as He did on Mt. Sinai in thunder and lightning. But, in order to cultivate a spirit of stewardship in us, God has chosen to use human beings to do this work.
Every act of self-sacrifice for the good of others will strengthen the spirit of stewardship in the giver’s heart. Every act of self-sacrifice for the good of others will make the giver closer to Christ, who “was rich, yet for our sakes became poor.” All of the good gifts God gives to us will prove only a curse, unless we use them to benefit others, and to advance the cause of Christ on earth.
It is the increasing devotion to money-getting that deadens the spirit of the Church. When the head and hands are constantly occupied with planning and toiling for the accumulation of riches, the claims of God and humanity are forgotten. If God has blessed us with prosperity, it is not that our time and attention should be diverted from Him and given that that which He has lent us. The Giver is greater than the gift. “We have been bought with a price…we are not our own.”
We are the recipients of the abundant fruit of Christ’s self-sacrifice; and yet, when work is to be done, when our money is wanted to help in the work of the Church, we shrink for duty and ask to be excused. Indifference and selfishness seal our senses to the claims of God and His Holy Church.
Are we to recline at our ease and forget the very reason why Christ went to the Cross, suffered, and died to take away the punishment for sin? Rather let us give while we have the power. Let us do while we have the strength. Let us work while it is day. Let us, rather than reclining at our ease, devote our time and our means to the service of God, and “glorify God in our bodies.”
This weekly series of brief thoughts on stewardship and Orthodox life is brought to you by your Diocesan Stewardship Commission.
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