Journey: Holy Generosity

Read: “The Uprising of Stewardship”

As with so many other things, we move too quickly to plans and formulas in much of North American Christianity.  We want to know “how” to do something before laying the foundation of “why” we should be doing it in the first place.

This week, McLaren provides an excellent introduction to stewardship, the basis for which he finds in the resurrection (the rising up) and the Christian movement (the uprising) which flowed from it.  The resurrection was God’s way of making Christ for the world (trans-incarnational), so it followed that the first Christians would be people for the world (non-possessive) as they moved into the world to live for Christ.

It is significant that the first Christians adopted the “all things in common” mindset almost immediately after Pentecost, and the sooner we do so, the better.  Otherwise, we run the risk of our possessions possessing us.  The actions of stewardship cannot occur until the attitude for it is established.

But when the uprising mind overtakes our materiality, then as we often say, our time, talent, and treasure is consecrated to Jesus just like everything else. Jesus does not demand 100% of our possessions (as McLaren shows), he just wants to know that 100% of them is available to him should there be a way he needs to use them in his post-resurrection ministry.

Personally, I liked the way McLaren developed the three-layered approach to stewardship in a way that makes the application of it feasible for anyone regardless of economic status.  And that is as it should be since everyone can be a good steward in their discipleship.  It is captured in the word generosity.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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1 Response to Journey: Holy Generosity

  1. Walter Edwards says:

    John Wesley felt that the hoarding of wealth by Christians was the reason Christianity had not changed the world.

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