Imagine opening the door to find a Super Sweepstakes with balloons and a big check. Now imagine that you look right past them, pick up your mail, and close the door; or, you decline the check and argue that you’re not ready to handle $10 million. It sounds unlikely, right?
The season after Pentecost is a perfect opportunity to think about the receiving side of stewardship. For most of us, gifts from God don’t come with balloons or tongues of fire. So, it makes sense to tune in to God’s more subtle packaging. Here are three steps you can take today:
1. Claim your talents. The best way to demonstrate that you’re thankful for your God-given talents is to use them.
2. Seize an opportunity. Have you been asked to speak or accept an assignment, and you’re scared silly? You wouldn’t give back that $10 million because you didn’t feel prepared, right? If the opportunity seems like it might be a gift from God, go for it.
3. Allow others to give. If you or someone you love is in trouble, don’t hide it. Others are ready to help. Imagine how arrogant it must sound to God to hear, “I can handle this on my own.” Yes, God loves a cheerful giver, and it’s a good bet that God loves a generous receiver, too.
This message is adapted from a stewardship devotion written by Sue Edison-Swift for Women of the ELCA in 1999.