You can apply the principle of being a good steward in all walks of life. Indeed, it is a way to live a successful life. undeniably, it is a key principle for being a Christian, an environmentalist, managing your finances, and for running a business.
What is the Meaning of a Good Steward?
A dictionary (Merriam-Webster) definition of a steward is:
“one employed in a large household or estate to manage domestic concerns (such as the supervision of servants, collection of rents, and keeping of accounts)”.
So in simple terms a good steward is a manager of a home, a business, or even of yourself who manages well.
A Way to Live Successfully – The Meaning of a Good Steward in Various Walks of Life.
You will find a lot of references to being a Good Steward in Christianity. However, this principle applies to many other fields of interest to include Environmentalism, Finance, and Business Management. Indeed, it is amazing that in these diverse, and some would think conflicting, fields of interest that being a good steward is the way to be successful.
A. The Meaning of Being a Good Steward in Christianity.
In biblical terms, Charles Bugg defines stewardship in the Holman Bible Dictionary as:
“utilizing and managing all resources God provides for the glory of God and the betterment of His creation.”
Also, there are countless references in the Bible for being a good steward starting in Genesis 1:28 where God told Adam and Eve to:
“… fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion … over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Additionally, Matthew 25:14-25 where Jesus tells of the Parable of the Bags of Gold where he describes both a good steward and bad steward. See Christianity.com’s What Are Stewards in the Bible? Meaning and Importance of Stewardship.
B. The Meaning of a Good Steward in Environmentalism.
The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s Stewardship definitions – Educating people in environmental stewardship practices has a good definition for stewardship – Environmental stewardship is:
“the responsible use and protection of the natural environment through conservation and sustainable practices to enhance ecosystem resilience and human well-being”.
Types of environmental stewardship includes:
- Restoration and Protection: Actions that assist in the recovery or preservation of an ecosystem
- Everyday Choices: Actions that reduce resource inputs and emissions per unit of output through technological change and consumer purchasing
- Community Awareness: Actions that inform others in an effort to convince them to take action to address community-level environmental issues
- Civic Action: Actions that inform public or organizational policy decisions that can improve environmental outcomes for many people or organizations at once
- Stewardship Science: Actions that collect and report monitoring data in an ecosystem that inform management of the natural resource.
The Infinite Kitchen’s What does it mean to be a steward of the earth? provides a list of specific actions that you can be a Good Environmental Steward. Specifically, these include: reduce the carbon footprint of your food, reduce your meat consumption, buy from local farms, compost your natural waste, change your mode of transportation, cut down on single-use plastics and stop buying fast fashion.
C. The Meaning of Being a Good Steward in Finance.
In finance they have a Stewardship Grade for financial funds. Investmentpedia defines a Stewardship Grade as:
“… an assessment of the quality of a company’s governance practices, used in mutual fund and stock reports issued by Morningstar, the investment research firm.”
So the factors considered for good financial stewardship include:
- The manner in which funds are run
- The degree to which the management company’s and fund board’s interests are aligned with fund shareholders
- The degree to which shareholders can expect their interests to be protected from any potentially conflicting interests of the management company.
Also, see Laurie Bonser’s What is Financial Stewardship? for more on how to be a good financial steward.
D. The Meaning of Good Steward in Business.
Drexel University Professional Studies Blog ON BEING A GOOD STEWARD provides advice for managers and employees to follow in business. This includes:
- LISTEN TO OTHERS AND CULTIVATE RELATIONSHIPS. Be a good steward by remembering things that other employees, customers, and stakeholders tell you and act on them.
- DO NOT SPEAK ILL OF THE COMPANY. Be a good steward by celebrating what your company does well.
- BE RESPONSIBLE WITH COMPANY MONEY. Company money is real and it does not grow on trees any more than your own money does; therefore, be wise and judicious in how you spend it.
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