God desires His workers to look to Him as the Giver of all they possess, to remember that all that they have and are comes from Him who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in working. The whole family of God are included in the responsibility of using their Lord’s goods.
It means much, very much to us to be strengthened by His rich grace day by day, to be enabled to understand His will, to be found faithful in that which is least as well as in that which is great. When this is our experience, the service of Christ will be a reality to us. God demands this of us, and before angels and men we should reveal our gratitude for what He has done for us. God’s benevolence to us we should reflect back in praise and deeds of mercy.
The idea of stewardship should have a practical bearing upon all the people of God. Practical benevolence will give spiritual life to thousands of nominal professors of the truth who now mourn over their darkness. It will transform them from selfish, covetous worshipers of mammon, to earnest, faithful coworkers with Christ in the salvation of sinners.
The parable of the talents, rightly understood, will bar out covetousness, which God calls idolatry. God has lent men talents—an intellect to originate, a heart to be the place of His throne, affection to flow out in blessings to others, a conscience to convict of sin. Each one has received something from the Master, and each one is to do his part in supplying the needs of God’s work.
Speech is a talent. Of all the gifts bestowed on the human family, none should be more appreciated than the gift of speech. It is to be used to declare God’s wisdom and wondrous love. Thus the treasures of His grace and wisdom are to be communicated. An indwelling Saviour is revealed by the words. Manifest the gentleness of which Christ has given us an example in His life.
Strength is a talent, and is to be used to glorify God. Our bodies belong to Him. He has paid the price of redemption for the body as well as for the soul. We can serve God better in the vigor of health than in the palsy of disease; therefore we should cooperate with God in the care of our bodies. Love for God is essential for life and health. Faith in God is essential for health. In order to have perfect health, our hearts must be filled with love and hope and joy in the Lord.
Influence is a talent, and it is a power for good when the sacred fire of God’s kindling is brought into our service. The influence of a holy life is felt at home and abroad. The practical benevolence, the self-denial and self-sacrifice, which mark the life of a man, have an influence for good upon those with whom he associates.
If men will put their trust in Him, if they will recognize His compassion and benevolence, and will walk humbly before Him, He will cooperate with them. He will increase their talents.
God has left us in charge of His goods in His absence. Each steward has his own special work to do for the advancement of God’s kingdom. No one is excused. The Lord bids us all, “Occupy till I come.” By His own wisdom He has given us direction for the use of His gifts. The talents of speech, memory, influence, property, are to accumulate for the glory of God and the advancement of His kingdom. He will bless the right use of His gifts.
This editorial was compiled from Ellen White’s Counsels on Stewardship, 112-117. It was also published in the December 2014 print edition of OUTLOOK.