Before taking this course, I never gave much importance to the true underlying meaning of stewardship and vocational integrity with respect to Biblical teachings. To me, stewardship meant being in service to supervise something that is assigned to one’s care and being truthful in someone’s workplace. “Stewardship” is a term used in the Middle Ages related to the responsible management of a manager at a large household or workplace. On the other hand, the term “Integrity” describes personality characteristics that are often linked to the professional behavior of individuals (Palmer, 1999). However, I no longer see these terms the same as I thought previously in the light of my research. Presently, I have a revised opinion of the meanings of stewardship and integrity after delving deep into the Bible. It is important to fully understand the underlying meaning of stewardship and vocational integrity to apply them to personal talents in daily decision-making. This reflective essay explains the previous personal assumptions regarding stewardship and vocational integrity and the impact of this new understanding on daily management and decision-making of personal talents and financial resources.
Previous Personal Assumptions
Before reading stewardship and vocational integrity in relation with Bible, I thought of vocational integrity and stewardship as being true and pure to the career, profession, and workplace to fulfill the promise we take (Brennfleck & Brennfleck, 2004). I thought of this relation as following the rules of the profession and behaving professionally while displaying pure behavior. However, my idea has changed now and I no longer rely on the prior information about these terms and their relation in my personal life. I understand now that stewardship in terms of vocational integrity means the management of resources that God has given to us. It means “the conducting, managing, and supervising the entrusted roles” through different resources such as abilities, talents, monetary and opportunities.
During delving deep into the Bible to understand the concept, many questions about my true calling and how to approach it effectively came to my mind and I started reflecting on the specific call that invites us to a vocation which is a God’s chosen mission for an individual. Secondly, we receive another specific call regarding our day-to-day tasks. These calls specifically represent vocation and are often linked to a higher purpose so that we can wisely perform stewardship and vocational integrity God has chosen for us for His benefit. Therefore, vocation is something different and greater for us than the concept of a job or pursuing a career. It indeed includes our opportunities and capacities to answer the calling to do good work (Smith, 2011). It is indeed a completion of the priorities of God that he has chosen for his people in this world.
After reading the true meaning of both terms “stewardship” and “integrity” in relation to the Bible by viewing vocation as God’s call, the concept helped me understand that we can take care of our inner self and our soul amid the harshness and stress of our workplace. With this new perspective about stewardship and vocational integrity, I believe that stewardship and vocational integrity is all about using the resources that God has given to His people to make them understand the true purpose of their lives. It is about living consistent with who we are that requires a fundamental honesty to self-serving in relation to moral integrity (Smith, 2011). Talent is one of the significant resources God has bestowed on us and after having this idea, I reflected on how people put their talents to actual use. On the contrary, I believe that we always neglect our true potential and the purpose behind it but also we are becoming very negative with each passing day. Similar is the case with supporting our chosen vocation regarding time and financial resources as we do not have enough time to do the work of God (Wiersbe, 2007). Moreover, I now believe that performing the vocation in a truthful manner is God’s work which we can carry out as our vocation to our holy call while being a wise steward of God-given talents and resources (Brennfleck & Brennfleck, 2004).
Stewardship and vocational integrity are two significant and interrelated concepts that must be understood in relation to the Holy Scripture, Bible. Besides, we must not separate religious duty from our daily work and must sensibly manage the authority that God has given to us to promote His work. All the resources are God-given and I have no personal authority over them. I believe that incorporating the concept of vocation as a true call from God in my daily life as well as professional practice, the perspective will help me maintain wise vocational integrity to make me a wise steward.
Brennfleck, K., & Brennfleck, K. M. (2004). Live your calling: A practical guide to finding and fulfilling your mission in life. John Wiley & Sons.
Palmer, P. J. (1999). Let your life speak: Listening for the voice of vocation. John Wiley & Sons.
Smith, G. T. (2011). Courage and Calling: Embracing Your God-Given Potential. InterVarsity Press.
Wiersbe, W. W. (2007). On being a servant of God. Baker Books.