Responsibility in Stewardship

By Rev. Fr. Eva Chuma Nnamene

From last edition of the Shepherd Weekday Bulletin, we began discussing basic principles of stewardship. We outlined four of such basic principles. In last week's edition, we discussed the "principle of ownership". We argued that since all we have, and all we are, come from God; and as such, are given, we should comport ourselves as people who got all we have and all we are from God. This week, we want to look at responsibility as one of the basic principles of stewardship.

A teacher walked into the classroom, and immediately realized that, up in the air was a fouled smell of farce from one of her class students. With dismay and anger, she asked: "who is responsible for this?" But the who class went silent. No one said a word. No one made a move. She asked, and asked, but no one owned it up. And she told them "responsibility is to own up your actions wether good or bad". As a matter of fact, to be responsible is to be in charge.

According to Cambridge Dictionary, the word "responsibilty" could be understood as a duty, or as a position of authority. It could express the idea of a duty one owes to others or to oneself. It could stand for a blame one gets over some bad situations caused by him, or that was messed up by him. It could be a moral judgment one has over issues that could be of personal or social relevance to the person or to others.

Be that as it may, to be responsible is to take care of one's circumstances, and to take control of them all. To be responsible is to sit up to one's duty demands. To be responsible is to be sure that things put under one's care, are taking their due course. To be responsible is to be a good manager of all the resources put under our care. A son once asked his father's permission to take a wife. His father told him to take care of pigs first.

Actually, the father wanted to judge what could be his son's responsibility to a wife from his son's ability to take care of pigs. His son's responsibility was to be measured by how well he was able to take care of pigs. If he did well, then he would be seen as responsible; but if he did not, then he would be seen as irresponsible; and probably, would have no wife.

However, the notion of responsibility as a principle of stewardship is built around how well we are able to take care of what God has given us. The truth is that God has given us so much. What is left is our care of all those he gave us. Just as the father judged his son's ability from the pig, so our God will judge our responsibility from how we take care of what he gave us.

It was Wiston Churchill who said that "we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give". The volume or capacity of what we give is the volume or capacity of our responsibility. Let us take good care of all those persons, things, environments, religion, world, etc that God gave us, and we must have proved ourselves to be responsible children of God. Let us start today - the future begins here!

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