Stewardship and the Virtue of Justice

When we have the virtue of Justice ordered well, we can recognize that all that we have are
in fact a gift from God. This includes our time, talents, finances, and relationships. If these
are gifts, then they have been given to us for a reason and ONLY for a time. As Christians,
we know that we cannot take any of these things with us into the next life. These gifts are
given to us to use, and to be stewards of in this life. It means that we acknowledge our role
as caretakers of these gifts. As ones given the responsibility to look after it. Much like the
parable in Matthew’s gospel, of the talents that are given to be grown.

Justice is to give what is their rightful due. Stewardship then, is to care for what is in our
possession to be given to those that God is calling us to give it to. In this way we become
instruments of God’s work, rather than the sole possessors of these gifts.

  1. Material Possessions – this includes the items that belong to us, such as wealth and
    resources. These are often seen as blessings that are bestowed upon a person for
    their hard work, that are to be used as they like. A kind of reward. Whereas the virtue
    of Justice and the practice of stewardship teaches us that instead of it being a kind of
    reward, it was given to us because it was owed to us in order to care for the
    responsibilities that have also been given to us.
    Ie. God gives the gift of an income to us to care for our families.
    But it is also meant to be given to another.
    Ie. Part of the income is put towards our children’s education because our
    children are owed sound education.
    Christians are also called to offer a portion of their earnings to the church to continue
    to evangelise and spread the gospel. Instead of looking at the income we receive as
    ours that we give from, stewardship helps us see that part of that income was always
    meant to be given in this way and was never truly meant to be belong to us, and we
    are mere instruments on that path entrusted to ensure it reaches where it is meant to.
  2. Talents and skillset: We have each been gifted certain talents, skills and abilities.
    These are given for our sanctification which also means they need to be put to the
    service of another. Remembering our call to Love is both to Love God AND
    neighbour, not one or the other. Our talents and skills are given to us to build up the
    kingdom, and to serve the body of Christ – the wider church. Part of our stewardship
    is to first identify what our unique gifts and talents are, and to nurture them, make
    them grow – then to ask God how they are meant to be used.
  3. Time: This is often one that is neglected. We tend to think of time as out of our
    control and in scarcity. This may well be the case, but that only makes it more
    valuable, not less. The time we have been given, we need to use wisely and to
    Ie. Prayer should never be an afterthought, but by the very reason of having
    been gifted time, we ought to recognize that part of it is owed to God in thanksgiving.
    It is just to distribute our time according to the responsibilities we have been given
    and to give due attention to our unique calling and mission.
  4. Relationships: When we have family, friends, partners/spouses, children in our lives
    – they are owed our relationship, love, loyalty, etc. This means we owe our loved

ones our sincerity, and the best of us as each day comes to pass. It is just to steward
these gifts to nurture them to grow, to deepen and flourish the human person as a
sign of respect, love and dignity for who they are – a child of God.

Some Practical Steps Just Stewardship:

  1. Cultivate Gratitude: Regularly reflect on the blessings in your life and thank
    God for His gifts. Gratitude helps us to order our heart to the virtue of Religion
    and to appreciate what we have, encouraging a generous spirit.
  2. Prioritize Giving: Make giving a central part of your financial planning.
    Support your local church, charitable organizations, and causes that align with
    your values. Remember that giving is not just about money but also about
    sharing your time and talents.
  3. Live Sustainably: Recognize the impact of your lifestyle on God’s creation.
    Make choices that promote sustainability, which may include environmental,
    financial, business, homemaking, food, time and energy.
  4. Engage in Community: Actively participate in your church and community.
    Seek out opportunities to connect with people and to serve.
  5. Seek God’s Guidance: It’s always the most obvious but the most easily
    forgotten – Regularly pray! Talk to God and ask him how to He would like for
    you to best use the gift of the resources He offers you. He will guide you in
    your stewardship journey, providing wisdom and clarity.

Our call to stewardship is multifaceted and a lifelong journey of faith, obedience, and
virtue. It’s about recognising all that we have was first given to us as gifts, and it is
our duty, according to justice, to determine with discernment what is owed to God
and neighbour, and to ensure as instruments of God’s work, that what is owed to
another, the other receives. In this way we built up a just kingdom of God, where
each person’s dignity is upheld.

Founder, director and keynote speaker of Virtue Ministry. Read her bio here.

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