Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights. - James 1:17, NIV
The Bishop hits right at the heart of the matter with today's devotional: whose "stuff" is it? - God's or ours.
If we believe that everything is God's, then we operate from the perspective that we are caretakers of the earth, the resources in our pocket, and the resources at our fingertips. In this scenario, we give back to God what was already God's to begin with.
If we believe that everything is ours, then we operate from the perspective that we can use whatever we want, whenever we want, for whatever we want. In this scenario, we give to God as we feel like it, but expect that God should be grateful for our giving.
Schnase says, "The wisdom revealed in Scripture and tradition for more than three thousand years is that those who practice from the perspective of a steward find greater happiness" (36).
Questions for Reflection:
1) Which of these two views do you hold?
2) How does this belief shape your actions? Your giving?