As of 2014 an android smart phone offered 1.3 million apps, with iPhone coming in at a mere 1.2 million. It’s great to have all those choices available to us, but it does leave us with the challenge of selecting the ones that will best enable us to achieve our purposes.
We have been discussing that God designed the human being to function as an agape producing machine. We further noted that like a smart phone we had many apps available to us, all of which are capable of producing agape.
If you’re like me, hopefully you’re not, I enjoy downloading apps, especially free ones, to find out what they can do. Life would be fun easy if we could just experiment with producing agape with our almost limitless array of human apps. We can show agape to one person using our “helping hand” app and to another person using our “encouragement” app.
The challenge in life resides in God’s assignment to use our apps to produce maximum agape. In other words, we don’t have the luxury of just using whatever app strikes our fancy at the moment. Rather, we are required to select from the millions of agape apps available to us the ones that will be most productive in producing agape.
The Bible refers to this responsibility to manage our apps for maximize agape as stewardship. Peter expressed this management responsibility as follows:
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace…. (1 Peter 4:10 ESV)
In stating that each of us has received “a gift,” he is not referring to a single capability but to the personalized assortment of apps that God has provided for each of us. Note that he states that this unique package of apps is given us “to serve one another,” i.e. to display agape, conveying the concept we have been emphasizing.
But he specifically makes the point that we should employ these apps “as good stewards.” A steward was a servant appointed by his master to oversee all his possessions. The ultimate objective of this task was to so invest these resources in order to realize maximum profit for his master. In our society the parallel would be the CEO, who is hired by the owners of a company to manage it with the goal of maximizing profit. Likewise, God has assigned us to be CEO of the assortment of apps that He was placed under our control, managing them for His profit, which needs to be in the currency of agape.
Notice that Peter insists that we be “good stewards” or managers of these resources. That means that we can’t just mess around with our apps, but we must develop a strategy for their use, carefully selecting and employing the most productive ones and determining which will produce the most agape in every given situation.
The ultimate objective is the development and employment of a plan that will produce the maximum agape over the course of our lifetime. Someday, at the Judgment Seat of Christ, God will add up the total agape we earned and assign us a reward based on the total.
It may be that the most loving thing that we ever do is to develop a plan for showing the most love. Some people never get around to that, but just go through life randomly using their apps. Believe it or not, of iPhone’s 1.2 million apps, they don’t have one called app manager. The good news is that God has included one on your personal human app package. I hope you are using it.