What is the biggest obstacle to Stewardship?
I believe the biggest obstacle to Stewardship in any cultural DNA is the conflict between self-interest and self-sacrifice. Scripture teaches that if we have eternal self-interest, then we will engage in temporal self-sacrifice (Matthew 16:24-26, Mark 10:28-30). However, the world and human nature tries to teach the opposite. It’s every man for himself. Build your own kingdom. Survival of the fittest. You deserve the wealth of the rich. You should despise the poor as parasites. We encounter thousands of reasons –even ones that sound rational– every day encouraging us to be selfish. We have churches filled with believers that live in a world barraged by a symphony of selfishness and fear.
What is the solution?
The solution begins with continually reintroducing believers to God’s holiness, majesty, and goodness. A high view of God will reinforce their relationship with God. Helping believers cultivate an intimate affection towards God is necessary to defend against the lie of the world — “Has God really said…?” or “Will God really take care of you?” Christians must continually be reminded of how much better it is to serve a holy, loving God than to build their own domains and fret over maintaining an ever-elusive security apart from God. Until we lead the disciples in our care to trust the Master, they will remain timid servants never fully grasping that, for the Christian, self-sacrifice is in our best self-interest.