Clarke A. Perry
Stewardship: The Heart of Giving
When I think about stewardship, I think about a statement heard years ago: “Stewardship is having the heart to give back out of love a portion of every gift that has been entrusted to me by God.” Growing up in the church, I sang in the choir, served on the usher board, participated with the youth council, and periodically led as worship leader. I did these things because I had no choice, but it did not take long for these to become activities I enjoyed and wanted to do. In those days, I knew God and served him, but I did not realize the foundation that was being laid for future things that I would have to go through as I navigated my way through adulthood.
As an adult, I have had to work through adversity; some of which I caused myself, and other extraneous situations that were out of my control. God has brought me through dangers seen and unseen that I not have been able to navigate through without Him. In good and bad seasons, I continued to serve God through my time, talent, and treasure. Since God is who he is, and he has blessed me in many ways, I want to give to him what is due. I do not mind giving up time to volunteer for the building up of God’s kingdom. I do not mind sweating through my suit when directing the choir or singing a solo. I do not mind presenting God with one tenth of my earnings and being a cheerful giver. Why, you may ask?... Because I have no choice but to give God my everything. Through His grace, I have been given things I do not deserve. Through His mercy, the things I do deserve, that could have destroyed me, were withheld from me.
Growing up, I did not fully understand what I was doing by devoting my time to God and His church. Now that I am older, and have experienced life’s curve balls, I get it. I understand what it means when they say, “only what you do for Christ will last,” and “it pays to serve Jesus.” In life I’ve learned to seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matthew 6:33). So as I keep God first, God blesses me, and I give back to him in love through my time, talent and treasure.