Followers of Jesus are promised abundant life but we must also take responsibility for the stewardship of our lives. Extreme debt, failed marriages, and poor health should not be characteristic of godly stewards. So how do we begin to steward our lives for the glory of God and for our own good?
His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.” (2 Peter 1:3)
The Apostle Peter reminds us that we have everything we need “for life and godliness” and that God has given us “very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature.” (2 Peter 1:3-4)
Who wouldn’t want to have a divinely empowered life?
Who wouldn’t want to “share in the divine nature” and, as verse four goes on to say, “escape the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires”?
Jesus promised His followers abundant life, but many professing Christians are spiritually, emotionally, relationally, and physically unhealthy. Rather than running on divine power we are running on the fumes of former spiritual victories. This is far from the abundant life Jesus wants for us.
But Jesus doesn’t promise a life free from challenges and problems either. Following Jesus isn’t going to magically absolve debt or instantly heal your marriage. He never promised perfect health and increased wealth. But He does give us godly wisdom to manage our lives well.
In short, Jesus promised us and empowers us to live a fulfilling life, but we must take responsibility as well. We will never fully use the power in 2 Peter 1:3-4 if we don’t take personal responsibility for 2 Peter 1:5-10.
Here are a few steps you can take to steward your life well and enjoy a more fulfilling life.
1. Supplement Your Faith
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.” (2 Peter 1:5-7)
What would your life and your faith look like with increased goodness and knowledge. How would you feel if you had more self-control and endurance? What about in your relationships? Could they benefit from an increased measure of brotherly affection and love?
How would your spouse answer that last question?
It may take some hard work and discipline, but the qualities listed above are beneficial to us. Of course we trust God can do anything but we also know He isn’t going to bless lazy and foolish.
This is where stewardship comes in. We must steward our time, our money, and our relationships to bring glory to God and to cultivate a more fulfilling life. In our being, relating, and doing (three major spheres of life) we must add the qualities in verses 5-7.
2. Evaluate Your Life
For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. The person who lacks these things is blind and shortsighted and has forgotten the cleansing from his past sins. Therefore, brothers, make every effort to confirm your calling and election, because if you do these things you will never stumble.” (2 Peter 1:8-10)
So how are you doing? Are the qualities listed in 2 Peter 1:5-7 increasing in your marriage? How about your health and finances? If you never evaluate your life you will never know what needs to change and what could be better.
A helpful tool you can use to take a quick snapshot of your life is the LifeScore assessment (free for a limited time). You discover your LifeScore by scoring ten different areas of your life on a scale of 1-12. It takes about 10 minutes to take the assessment and once you discover your LifeScore, you can quickly see opportunities for growth and improvement.
The ten areas assessed are fairly comprehensive:
We cannot be good stewards of our minds, our money, and our marriages if we never evaluate our life. If we are not faithful stewards, then we will not be faithful representatives of Christ either. We need godly qualities to increase in every area of our lives so that we can be useful and fruitful “in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
3. Measure Your Progress
You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”
A one-time evaluation isn’t going to take you very far in improving your life. Once you’ve identified a few areas of weakness you can begin to set goals and measure your progress.
The LifeScore assessment has a built-in feature to help with this. Once you’ve taken the assessment you can actually go back in monthly or quarterly and reassess your life so that you can chart your progress.
Regardless of what tools you use, you can’t steward what you don’t measure.
Bottom Line: we are promised abundant life and we are commanded to steward our lives well for God’s glory. The point of evaluating and improving our lives is not simply to be healthier, wealthier, and wiser. Money, for example, does not ensure happiness. Instead, abundant life comes from loving and serving our Savior and King. Faithful stewardship frees up resources and increases our ability to serve Him more faithfully.
We get in shape to live longer lives on mission. We strengthen our marriages to illustrate the love Christ has for His Church. We learn so that we can teach. We earn more to give more.
It is in exalting Christ and serving others that we will find abundant life. It is in giving that we receive.
Take a few minutes right now to discover your LifeScore and begin stewarding your life for the glory of God.
What is the biggest area of your life that needs to improve? What are some steps you can take to get from where you are to where you need to be?