During most of my Christian life nearly every sermon or lesson I heard on the subject of stewardship had to do with money. So to me, spiritual stewardship was about our relationship to money. It wasn't till years later that I realized that our relationship to money was only a part of spiritual stewardship. Biblical stewardship relates to every area of our life.
Giving money, reading your Bible and regularly meeting with believers is just part of our spiritual stewardship. I have met numerous believers who were tithers and faithful church members but their lives were a mess. I think part of the reason is they neglected the necessity of being a good steward in all areas of their life.
One of the major areas of neglect is in the area of setting our mind. Our mind is a wonderful gift from God. Our mind has the ability to create, reason, compute and to dream great things. When we become a follower of Christ our life changes and we have a brand new nature (2 Cor. 5:17), but our mind needs to be developed to think consistent with our new nature. Theologically, that’s called the act of sanctification. It is up to us to be a good steward of our mind and learn to think with the mind of Christ ( 1 Cor. 2;16). If we don’t intentionally set our mind upon truth, then our mind will naturally go the way of the flesh and the culture. The Scripture admonishes us to set our mind on things above in Colossians 3.
In this devotional I want to address four hindrances to good stewardship of our mind.
Worry – Worry begins with little things, things that seem insignificant. But if those little worries are left unchecked a pattern of worry will develop, and soon worry becomes a way of life. As a follower of Jesus, there are many reasons for us to avoid falling into the worry trap. First of all, if God takes care of the flowers and the birds, He will take care of us. (Matthew 6:25-34) Also, the Scripture tells us to be “anxious for nothing” in Philippians 4. Worry is our acknowledgement that we don’t believe what God says applies to us. We must learn to bring everything to God in prayer and trust Him to give us wisdom and strength to face every issue of life. Bottom line, you can choose to worry or you can choose to trust God.
Indifference – This is a slippery slope and a very serious place to be as a committed follower of Christ. Indifference is tied to the principle of fence sitting. For some it is a safe place to be, but the decision to be indifferent is really based on fear. The Bible speaks about indifference in the book of Revelation when it refers to the church of Laodicea. Jesus said, “Because you are neither cold nor hot I will spit you out of my mouth. " (Rev. 3) The Scripture teaches that anything less than radical trust in God is being lukewarm. When we are indifferent in our commitment to Christ it affects every other area of our life. We become indifferent about our relationships, about opportunity, our job, and about hard decisions we need to make. Indifference is a choice of the mind. If you are a fence sitter, get off the fence and get back in the game.
Indecision – Motivational speaker Jim Rohne said, “Indecision is the thief of opportunity.” I can’t tell you how many times that indecision has caused me to miss an opportunity to share my faith or give comfort and care to someone who needed an encouraging word. It has also cost me to miss out on a business opportunity or two. Indecision sometimes causes us to over-think a situation and causes us to not trust the voice of God. Is your indecision based on fear or a lack of wisdom?
Doubt – Doubt is tied to indecision and fear. We ought to be cautious and careful to weigh our decisions with logic, but you can’t let doubt take over your life. Once doubt sets in you will doubt the past, the present, and then the future. This is where setting your mind on truth is essential. When you surrender your rights and expectations to the Lord and begin to rest in Christ’s love, your legitimate doubts will become a red flag and your unfounded doubts will flee. The Scripture says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding and He will direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5)
Proper stewardship of the mind begins by giving our worry to God, trading in our indifference for positive faith, then casting our indecision and doubt aside by putting our trust in God.