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Stewardship Starts with WOW!

How well you start often determines how well you finish.

Two of our children were swimmers. A large part of their early training had to do with entering the water. Stroke and turn, endurance, and "dry land" conditioning was important, but in swimming if you don't get off the blocks well and make a clean entry into the water, you spend a great deal of energy catching the other swimmers. You have to start well if you hope to finish well.

The same can be said of stewardship. Where we embark in our understanding makes a difference as to whether or not we will discover the joy in giving and approach our true capacity for generosity. If we begin from a place of guilt or obligation, it is unlikely we will discover joy and gratitude. Starting from a place of wonder and "wow," however, opens the possibility that we can find delight and satisfaction in sharing and in our own practice of stewardship.

It starts with God rather than ourselves. The process of becoming a faithful steward is the realization that we are responding to what God has done, rather than seeking to generate a reaction from God. God has already blessed, already provided.

Genuine stewardship therefore finds the heart of its beginning in the "wow" of God. God, according to Genesis, looks upon the unfolding work of creation and says at the end of each day: "Wow -- this is good!" All of it brings delight to the heart of the Divine One; such awe is the right way for us to start our stewardship conversation so that we can indeed end well.

For Focus and Reflection: What have been some "wow" moments in my life?

Prayer: Lord, we thank you for good beginnings, fresh starts, and the first step in a new journey of discovery. Amen.

Community of Prayer Stewardship Devotional
Copyright ©2016 by Bruce A. Barkhauer
Permission to copy & email given by Center for Faith and Giving
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