Everyday Stewardship

I read an article in Esquire magazine about graciousness. The article began, “Graciousness looks easy, but of course it is not. Do not mistake mere manners for graciousness. Manners are rules. Helpful, yes. But graciousness reflects a state of being; it emanates from your inventory of self” (Chiarella, Tom. “How to be Gracious and Why,” May 2013). I think that all mature disciples of Jesus Christ should reflect a high level of graciousness in their life. It lends evidence to the joy of the Lord that resides in their heart and the grace that fills their being.  
Being gracious is a characteristic of an Everyday Steward. Even in the ordinary circumstances of the day, good stewards display a giving demeanor that makes others take notice. Graciousness really makes a difference when it is displayed instead of anger, resentment, or ridicule. No story explains this more powerfully than the parable of the prodigal son.
In Jesus’ parable, the father has every reason to share with his son his hurt and dissatisfaction upon his returning home after he wasted his inheritance and disgraced his family. Instead, his gracious response is overwhelming, so much so that the other son who has remained faithful becomes disgruntled. A gracious steward gives without asking why or care for the cost. And with grace comes mercy, not human justice. With true justice, we would all suffer. But with mercy, comes love and the chance to begin again.
By developing graciousness in our lives, we become instruments of grace for the world around us. We provide glimpses of heaven and the love of the Father for his sons and daughters. And the feasts we prepare for those here on earth give them a taste of the heavenly banquet that awaits when we finally come home.
Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS