Today’s Scripture: I John 3:11-13, 16-17, 23-24
11 This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 12 We must not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because Cain had been doing what was evil, and his brother had been doing what was righteous. 13 So don’t be surprised, dear brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.
16 We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?
23 And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us. 24 Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us.
Normally when we think of the word “stewardship” we think of tithing – or money – or the church asking for money! But stewardship is basically managing well the gifts that God has given us – all the gifts. This includes the gift of our relationships with other people.
Now I totally get some relationships do not seem like gifts! Some of those might be in our own family. Relationships are hard sometimes. Love is hard sometimes.
And yet this passage reminds us that taking care of our relationships is part of being a disciple. We are to “love one another, just as he commanded us”. Loving others is being a good steward of the relationships God has given us.
It is completely possible to treat our relationships without stewardship. We can use people and then throw them away. Or we can neglect the relationship and watch it wither. Sometimes we can get so selfish or self-focused that we barely give our relationships a second thought. Maybe it’s time to treat those relationships as the gifts from God they are.
What are the most important relationships God has given you? How are you managing those gifts?
God you have given us such great gifts – including the gift of the people in our lives. Help us to be good stewards of those gifts. Help us to love as Jesus loved.