As we have been meditating on Philippians 1:1 one word at a time, we encountered the term “slave.” In an earlier post we concluded that being a slave to Jesus Christ results in life at its best, since that is the role for which we were designed. We noted, however, that this positive perspective on slavery does not eliminate the realities of the slave relationship, which can be summarized in two words, ownership and obedience.
Ownership encompasses obedience. If Jesus owns us, this reality obligates us to do His bidding.
Specifically what does Jesus call us to do—what is the nature of our obligation to Him? In brief, God requires us to obey the law of love, that is, we are obligated to consistently seek to benefit others.
Doing so entails two elements. First, we must give others what they deserve, that is, we must treat them ethically. We must live righteously. Not to do at least that much is certainly unloving.
In addition, we must employ all of our resources such as time, energy, capabilities, influence, money, etc. to benefit others in ways beyond our obligation to them, i.e. we are called to extend grace to them.
We maximize our display of grace to others by applying “stewardship,” which is an archaic word for “management.” Our obligation to Christ requires that we manage our resources effectively in order to provide the greatest benefit to others. In essence, Christ calls us to function as CEO of our lives, aggressively working to achieve the greatest profit for our Owner. Doing so demands discipline, wisdom, and an understanding of biblical priorities.
Ultimately, this approach to life provides the greatest fulfillment and satisfaction, and it produces the greatest reward for time and eternity.