Proverbs talks about three kinds of people—the wise person, the fool, and the scoffer—and cautions us against some of them (4:10-19). How are they involved in stewardship? I think we would all like to be considered “wise,” which needs no further explanation.
Considering someone a fool, of course, is disparaging. So, understanding such a person can be a challenge. It could be someone who is unaware, unconcerned, or disconnected. Or fools may believe in the good of all, and in their actions to accomplish good for others, but may not always be successful because of their own limitations.
The scoffer, on the other hand, actively shuns stewardship. Scoffers may feel they have nothing to offer anyone, or that their efforts will be useless or ineffective, or even consider acts of charity to be a fool’s errand in the first place.
Our efforts to be good stewards may not always be successful, or even noticeable, but we can still be effective when we become aware of the needs of the world around us, avoid the pitfalls of cynicism and defeatism, and honestly try to give of ourselves. Looking forward in this way, we become wiser and may even sense some success from our efforts, and be motivated to keep trying.
James Pruch, who ministers to college students with his wife Carly, once said faith begets obedience, and obedience proves faith. As we grow in faith and holiness, we become more sanctified and grow in stewardship, which brings us more satisfaction in our special relationship with God, and motivation to follow in his path.
--Jim Wollak, Parishioner
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