Many years ago I went to a Men’s Conference in Georgia. While there, I had the privilege to stay in a very nice hotel room. The hotel we had booked was overbooked and we were bumped up to an Executive Suite, the kind reserved for traveling businessmen. It had a massive bed, a desk, a couch, a plasma TV, the works.
As I entered the room, it occurred to me that this was all laid out for me. I could sit on the couch, sleep on the bed, watch the TV, use the shower, everything was at my disposal. I also at the same time realized that I owned none of it. Not. One. Thing. It all belonged to the hotel, and when my stay was done, I had to give it all back. Not only this, but I’d have to give an account for all I’d used. If the TV was broken, for example, I’d be held responsible for that.
A verse from the Bible suddenly came back to me,
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
While they didn’t have hotel rooms in Paul’s day per se, I think I finally uncovered that night what the secret was. The secret to being content with a lot of things or not many things at all. The secret also to being a good steward. Here it is:
Nothing belongs to me. I own nothing.
The secret, for me, was to treat everything like the hotel room. God lets me stay in a nice house full of nice things. I get to sit on the couch, watch the TV, use the computer, and sleep in the bed. But I don’t own any of it. It all goes back to Him sooner or later, and I’ll have to give an account for what I did with His stuff.
It goes beyond mere possessions though. My wife is His creation. I get to spend this time with her, and to live with her as her spouse, but she does not belong to me. Sooner or later I must give her back to Him, and I’ll be held accountable for how I treated her. The same goes with my kids. And the toughest of all?
The same goes for myself, too. I don’t own this body, it’s His creation. I was even bought with a price. I don’t have rights over my own body, so I need to treat it with great respect and take care of it. Not for myself, but for its owner, that is God.
Something to think about.