My name is Peta-Gay Facey.
Attorney by day, maker of hair & skin care products by night…and weekends (lol)…but passionate about Jesus and sharing insight.
I’ve been a Christian for most of my life but the concept of stewardship became more apparent to me in 2018; although the seeds were planted years before.
Notwithstanding this, I must admit that the weight of ‘intentionality’ and purposefulness was always something I sort of got. I always knew…in the back of my mind…and in the depth of my heart…that GOD desired that His people know and display Him well in every area of their life.
So the year was 2018. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. (haha)
2018 marked the closure of my law school chapter and a step towards real adulthood. The reality of paying bills, honouring obligations, showing up well at work, battling illnesses, side hustling; all while honouring GOD throughout all these things made life much too demanding.
The burden of adulthood made me anxious and drained the once child-like character into one obsessed with getting it right…finances, work-life balance, purposefulness, intentionality…say it with me…woooo sah!
The backdrop is set…the plot thickens
In June 2018, one of my MVPs, asked me to share on stewardship with her young adults. Of course, GOD in His wisdom, would not allow me to share before the topic consumed me. Through research, reading and His insight, He made it clear to me that:
‘Good Stewardship’ is the effective and faithful management of another person’s resources in order to achieve the master’s/owner’s objective.
Ok….so I am the steward. He is the master. All my resources, i.e talents, passions, relationships and experiences are entrusted to me by Him. All these things are therefore not mine. The quality of my stewardship would be determined by how I used all these things to achieve His objective.
Ok simple? Except no.
The difficulty in accepting this concept was found mostly in my perspective.
So all the money mi slave for at the end of the month is just not mine so? I have to exercise intentionality in how I use my finances tooo? Paying tithes (which we’ll discuss in another blog post) and likkle offering is not the only thing required of me? No sah. GOD you doing too much…Ok I’ll accept your perspective…after all…you are GOD.
But then PG…being the master of ‘extra’…went into full force. I am going to be the best steward in all the land!
What did that look like?
- Counting every cost.
- Obsessing over establishing an emergency fund.
- Developing a strategy to pay off my student loan in record time.
- Over-extending myself in the guise of honouring ‘obligations’.
- Valuing saving and investing over my physical and mental health.
The result? A crash, and most importantly the lack of contentment. My savings account looked promising but my soul was empty. I attempted to win at this stewardship journey without remembering the first rule:
“Seek ye first the Kingdom of GOD and all His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you”. [Matthew 6:33]
I foolishly sought after all these things without seeking the master’s objective on its use…after all…this would determine the quality of my stewardship. I obsessed over the ‘discipline’ of stewardship without realizing that the main disciplines of stewardship are ‘joy’ and ‘contentment’.
This steward was winning…on the face of it…but my obsession with getting it right pulled me further away from the heart of the Master. Too concerned about the interest to be borne on an investment account with little concern for His interest in all these matters.
As a loving Father, He brought the clarity I needed. He showed me where my treasure was and the condition of my heart [Matthew 6:21]. He let me know that this obsession to get it right was rooted in pride, fear and a lack of reliance of Him. He cautioned me that stewardship was not only expected in my finances but ALL areas…even my mental and physical health that I allowed to deteriorate in the process.
As I reflected on my above experiences with the Lord and sought His insight on this blog post, He reminded me of the concerns of Martha and Mary. The well-known story is set in Luke 10: 38-42:
38 As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home.
39 Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught.
40 But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”
41 But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details!
42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Martha did something great. She welcomed the presence of Jesus into her personal space. Notwithstanding this initial heart posture, she became distracted. No doubt she saw Jesus teaching but become overly concerned with the big dinner she was preparing for the master and His disciples; the discipline of service.
As always, service becomes burdensome when motivation is misplaced. She became frustrated with Mary who seemed to be enjoying the presence of the Master instead of working. In reality and deep down, she was frustrated with Jesus as well. ‘Jesus don’t you see how much I’m working over here?!…and you won’t even tell Mary to come and help me so that I can serve you well!’
I was Martha. I welcomed Jesus into my personal space when He provided the revelation and insight on stewardship. My eyes were fixed.
I ruled it down to a science. Stewardship obviously involved discipline. It involved me working hard and tirelessly enough so that GOD could be pleased with me. I would secretly scoff at those who didn’t display the same level of discipline and appeared to be enjoying life while I delayed immediate gratification in relation to my finances. I knew…or well I thought I did…that GOD would look at all my sacrifice and declare, “well done thou good and faithful steward!”
But then worry came in. Every time I considered a bill, the overwhelming obligations, my own personal goals, the expectation to give generously…my heart would fill with worry. I was distracted. I started to resent GOD when things didn’t seemingly turn out the way I expected. How could this be the reward of a good steward?
If we look at the verses which immediately precede this story in Luke 10, verses 25-37, Jesus outlines the obligation to be a good Samaritan—to serve our neighbours well.
Jesus was thus not concerned with Martha’s act of service, but rather her worry and distraction with all these things. The word “distracted” in verse 40, is a Greek word “περιεσπᾶτο (periespato)”, and is only used in this instance in the Bible. It means to be ‘cumbered’ and can be translated to mean ‘drawn in different directions’ or ‘driven about mentally’.
Though Jesus was present in her home, Martha became distracted with attending to Him physically rather than enjoying His presence and learning from Him. Whenever Jesus sat and taught–He shared the will (or ‘objectives’) of the Father.
Jesus said that there is only one thing worth being concerned about; pursuing His heart which ultimately reveals His will.
The stewardship journey is thus the pursuit of the Father’s heart. Loving the Master as He provides insight on His objectives. This insight will provide the guidance for how we’ll effectively manage all these things. Pursuit will provide the impetus and motivation for the entirety of the journey.
This is the gist of this blog– sharing my stewardship journey and the insight He has provided along each road, avenue and pit stop. Let’s face it everyone. All of us are stewards [no you can’t opt out of this level]… and we will have to give account for the quality of our stewardship.
Notwithstanding the size of this truth pill…here’s the glass of water you are looking for: He’s a loving Father that “by His divine power…has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of His marvelous glory and excellence.” [2 Peter 1:3]
At this time, evaluate your attitude towards GOD concerning all these things He has entrusted to you. Your time, possession, skill sets, passions, experiences, influence and relationships. Have you only given Him control over the seemingly spiritual things? Do you truly accept that He ultimately owns all these things? If not, ask that this concept be made real to you. If yes, have you been seeking His will/objective on how you should be managing them?
Your stewardship journey may have started on the other end of the spectrum as mine. Possibly a lack of serious concern about how you used the resources entrusted to you? Wherever you fall on the spectrum, GOD will strike the balance once we let Him. Balance will not look the same for every steward but it will be rooted in pursuit and displayed in joy and contentment. I am confident of this one thing, that He who has started a good work in you is faithful to bring it to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. [Philippians 1: 6]
It is my hope that each blog post will encourage you to appreciate both the weight and freedom of stewardship. It will not only act as an outlet and an opportunity to share but provide accountability for my own stewardship journey.
In my next blog post, I’ll dive into the biblical basis of stewardship and the principles GOD has provided to be good stewards.