Thursday, January 31, 2013

CARETAKERS, NOT OWNERS


By:  V. Grounds

“But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this?Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.” – 1 Chron. 29:14 (NIV)

John Hauberg and his wife live in a stunning home in Seattle. It is built mostly of glass inside and out. Hundreds of glass artifacts decorate the light-flooded rooms, and even the sinks, shelves, and mantelpieces are made of glass.

You might think that the Haubergs would be in constant fear that something would break. On the contrary, they invite visitors to roam freely throughout their entire home. John is also a connoisseur of Native American crafts, but he has donated his entire collection to the Seattle Art Museum. His motive is not to hoard but to share. “I’m not an owner,” he says. “I am a caretaker.”

John Hauberg’s comment expresses in a simple sentence a basic biblical principle that applies to all our possessions: We aren’t owners; we are caretakers. Legally, of course, we own our possessions. But as Christians, we gladly acknowledge with David that “the earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein” (Ps. 24:1).

By right of creation, God holds the title deed to all that exists, including us and whatever we possess. Temporarily He allows us to use the resources of His world. But in the end it all reverts to Him. Are we being wise and generous caretakers of God’s property?

Naught that I have my own I call,
I hold it for the Giver;
My heart, my strength, my life, my all
Are His, and His forever. —Small

The only things we really lose are those things we try to keep.

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