Some few years ago, while reading the Ellen G. White’s exposition of the parable of the talents, I was struck by these words:
“The development of all our powers is the first duty we owe to God and to our fellow men. No one who is not growing daily in capability and usefulness is fulfilling the purpose of life. In making a profession of faith in Christ we pledge ourselves to become all that it is possible for us to be as workers for the Master, and we should cultivate every faculty to the highest degree of perfection, that we may do the greatest amount of good of which we are capable.”1.
God views us as accountable not only for what we had and did, but also for what we could have had and done. Christians are called to develop their capabilities and faculties to rise to a higher level of partnership. This constitutes the main theme of this issue of the Dynamic Steward.
The stewardship message has always comprised a growing wealth component through the principle of reciprocity: Return tithe and give offerings, and God will multiply your resources (Prov. 3:3, 9; Mal. 3:10). There is extensive scriptural evidence of this conviction. Nevertheless, it remains a narrow conception of growing wealth. According to the Bible, wealth comes from faithful, diligent labor. (Prov. 13:4). Our contributors dwell on this important component of a fruitful life.
Growing wealth for a stronger partnership with God requires us to develop and educate others about the biblical perspective of growth. First, we must shift into a growth mindset: What we have received is neither fixed at birth nor unchangeable at a certain stage of our life. Expansion and growth are part of God’s design for His children. Second, it is important to direct attention and energy on the raw materials of life rather than on the end product. When we concentrate on the material resources that we have, or more often that we do not have, we can easily get frustrated or paralyzed by the empty pocket syndrome. In contrast, the Bible declares that God has given us “the ability to produce wealth” (Deut. 8:18, NIV).2 Our daily task is to use and sharpen these abilities: health, talents, skills, energy, time, and much more. Growth will be the natural outcome. Finally, it’s all about life’s purpose. Many are already producing abundant wealth using their God-given abilities but are serving only themselves. Growing wealth in a way—and with a motive—that pleases the Owner of everything can happen only within a stewardship framework.
As you enjoy and share our magazine, the DS team claims this promise for you and for those you serve: “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Cor. 9:8, NIV).
Aniel Barbe, Editor
1Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1900, 1941), pp. 329, 330.
2Texts credited to NIV are from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.