Do you want to experience the love, joy and peace that comes from living a God-centered life? Are you trying to figure out what God is calling you to do with your life? If so, read the Bible, every day. Teachings on being good stewards of our gifts come directly from the Gospels, the Old Testament and the letters of the New Testament.
Stewardship isn’t a new fad invented by the Church or a word just used by environmentalists. Stewardship is the way God has intended for us to live since the beginning of time. The Bible has always been the playbook for living a grateful and generous lifestyle.
The world is filled with many self-improvement books. As Christians, we have the best-selling “self-improvement” book of all-time, the Bible. (Current estimate is 5 billion sold and counting).
By reading the Bible, not only do you learn about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, but you actually grow in love and friendship with the Holy Trinity. The Bible is the living Word of God that speaks to each of us directly in our current circumstances.
Talk to daily Bible readers about their experience and they will frequently say that what they read in the Bible pertained to what is going on in their life at that particular moment. This isn’t a coincidence. God loves us and knows what we need when we need it.
In any good, loving relationship, it takes two committed parties. God’s commitment is well known: He created us, He gave us an abundance of gifts, He gave us His only Son for our redemption and He sent the Holy Spirit to guide us today. What about our commitment? All God asks is that we invite Him into our hearts and clear a little space for Him to operate in our lives.
A good, loving relationship also requires balance — the appropriate amount of time spent on the appropriate things. During this time of pandemic, social injustice and civil unrest, it isn’t good to fill up on all the bad news fed to us around the clock. It also isn’t good to kill time by binge watching your favorite shows or reading gossip on social media. If you want to live a virtuous life in a close relationship with our Lord, then balance your day by reading the Bible.
What we put in our minds and hearts affects our thoughts and our actions. If you want good outputs, you need good inputs. If we want a good loving relationship with the Holy Trinity and with each other, then start with the daily reading of God’s Living Word.
Faith is personal, but it is not meant to be private — we are all part of the Body of Christ. If you are unsure or uncomfortable with how to start reading the Bible, ask a family member or friend who is a daily scripture reader for help. Or, join a small Bible study group or start one yourself. Your local pastor or parish priest would be happy to get you started. All we have to do is take the first step.
Baranowski is the director of stewardship education in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. He and his wife are parishioners at Mary, Mother of the Church in south St. Louis County.