STEP 9. STEWARD all of my life for God’s glory.
NOTE: Many people have asked how they can get a copy of the seminar notebook referenced in this verbal presentation. Summit members can pick up a copy of the notebook in the church office. For those outside the Summit family, you can request a copy from Amy LaBarr (firstname.lastname@example.org), office administrator over counseling.
“God has shown me great grace; grace greater than my anger. I am learning what it means to live out of my new identity in Christ. That has pushed me to ask the question, ‘How can I be a conduit of God’s grace to others?’ As I have sought God, examined my life, and consulted with fellow believers, I believe this [describe] is what it looks like for me to steward God’s grace now.”
Memorize: James 3:16-18 (ESV), “For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” As you memorize this passage reflect upon these key points:
- “Wisdom” – Overcoming anger is more about applied wisdom than emotional control.
- “First” – Overcoming anger is able to maintain focus on matters of first importance in a “crisis.”
- “Harvest” – Hopefully you can now begin to look to the future without a sense of dread.
- “Sown in peace” – Anger sows in the stress of thinking, “Everything depends upon me.”
- “Those who make peace” – Let the thought of being a “peace-producer” permeate your identity.
To “steward” something means to use it for God’s intended purpose. It is important to remember that what is being stewarded is your life, not the merely the experience of overcoming sinful anger. To think otherwise would be to define yourself by your struggle again.
Anger has prevented you from using particular gifts, talents, or passions for God’s glory. Anger has thwarted your ability to fulfill a life role (i.e, spouse, parent, worker, church member, etc…) the way God intended. As anger dissipates, do not neglect giving yourself fully to those roles in which God has placed you.
Sin is a parasite that lives off of stolen resources (time, energy, love, etc…) that were intended for other purposes. As we rid ourselves of this vile intruder, those resources upon which sin once indulged become available for God’s design and our true enjoyment. Ultimately, stewardship is the pinnacle where purpose, worship, and joy meet.
Unless we are convinced of this truth, we will return to our sin as the “good life” and grow dissatisfied with serving God out of a sense of duty. Stewardship is not how we “pay God back” for our sin, but how we live in the fullness for which we were created.