Before this class and reading chapters in Courage and Calling: Embracing Your God-Given Potential, I did not give much thought to the true underlying meaning and theoretical insight of stewardship and vocational integrity. In my previous thought, before understanding the meaning of both terms through a biblical perspective, I always took stewardship in the meaning of giving in or serving. The term vocational integrity means true to your responsibility in the workplace for me. However, after reading chapters 1 and 5, I have a revised opinion of the meanings of stewardship and vocational integrity. Delving deep into the Bible has helped me understand the true sense and meaning, so I no longer see these terms in the same light of my own understanding and research as I have been doing before. In this reflection essay, I will examine what my previous presumptions were regarding stewardship and vocational integrity and how my new understanding through Biblical perspective and readings has shaped my talents.
The term “stewardship” refers to the responsible and careful conduct, supervision, and management of something entrusted to one’s care. The Lord God has given us many resources such as opportunities, talents, monetary, or abilities for our benefit. These resources are blessed to every human being unconditional with the responsibility that we use these benefits and blessings for the betterment of self and humanity. I think stewardship is the form of having a reason for being, as we are all here in this world with a purpose or reason to explore with our due diligence. Learning the intricacies of these terms and their significance in one’s life, I now firmly believe that I am a steward of the financial resources and talents that God has blessed me with, having vocational integrity in all matters of my life. Besides, I understand the purpose that God has gifted all these resources to bring His truth to all the people that are around me.
Before reading chapters 1 and 5 in Courage and Calling: Embracing Your God-Given Potential, I always thought that stewardship and vocational integrity is all about protecting and care something one is responsible for, like a board member of the community hall. The member may be assigned to be a good steward for the public and make decisions without any personal or political agenda. He must represent the community hall, its success, and financial resources to the general public to make the public look at the big picture. After knowing that we are sent to this world to be responsible for serving others best selflessly, we have this realization that stewardship and vocational integrity is all about choosing to be faithful servants to God in conjunction with utilizing our time, resources, money, and talents for the betterment of people around us.
Moreover, I believe that I have to shoulder an important responsibility to put God first in all matters of my life to prove myself a steward and a good disciple of his Word. Understanding my responsibility as a wise steward and having vocational integrity in all that I do will help me plant a seed for others to find Christ and the true meaning of their being. This understanding has really changed my thinking and the way I perform my daily mundane tasks. Another important thing I have changed in myself after understanding the true meaning of stewardship is that all my decision-making should be according to the rules and teachings of God and Christ to ensure that I abide by His will. This little change in my life has released me from stress, expectations of the world, and the fear of being judged by people. The feeling of abiding by His teachings and principle brings me immense pleasure that I have sought His counsel in every matter of my life.
One of the most important things is the recognition of talents and resources that God has blessed me with and every individual out in this world differently and unconditionally. Each one has different and unique talents with the purpose that humanity finds a way to operate their lives as the body of Christ. Every human being must use their abilities and resources to shine through the love, joy, and peace of Christ’s light. Smith mentions three important and distinctive callings that every person who believes in the existence of God and Christ receives from God, which includes a call to be a Christian, a call to complete everyday mundane tasks, and a call to specific vocational integrity (Smith, 2011). My previous presumptions about God’s calling to a Christian failed because I did not know about God’s call to complete routine tasks. After knowing and understanding the significance of that calling in Courage and Calling, I am now able to apply this helpful insight to my everyday life. Presently, I can explore my vocational calling as a steward and disciple of God as a leader who assists other human beings in a variety of ways so that they can determine their personal, spiritual, and professional goals in their lifetime.
In a nutshell, reading Courage and Calling: Embracing Your God-Given Potential was an eye-opener for me as I came to know that I am not just an instrument for God’s work but a being who seeks salvation through Christ for my wrongdoings. Moreover, to my understanding, the vocational integrity lifted up through stewardship is to share the good news that we are all called and dearly loved by God and Christ to truly live our faith for the sake of this broken yet beautiful world.
Smith, G. T. (2011). Courage and Calling: Embracing Your God-Given Potential. InterVarsity Press.