“The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein” (Psalm 24:1)

What does it mean to be a steward? The Greek word for stewardship is oikonomos. To break it down, we see that oikos means ‘house,’ and nomos means ‘law.’ Thus, stewardship means that one is to manage the affairs of the house. A steward does not own the house, but he tends it as the owner commands.

If God owns everything, and the steward is to manage and care for that which God owns, that means the steward must manage and care for a great many things. Because God’s stewards belong to God, and have been bought with a price, they are to responsibly and joyfully serve Him as stewards of all that He has given them. Joyful stewardship comes from a heart of gratitude for all that God has given His children, the greatest gift of which is salvation, a reconciliation with God.

We are to be good stewards in our relationship with God.

To God, we are responsible for:

  • Time: We are responsible to redeem the time He has given us in which to carry out His purposes. We take care to make good use of each day. We are responsible to keep our focus on Him, not on ourselves. We make sure that we do not waste time with worldly things that would glorify sin (Ephesians 5; Colossians 4).
  • Gifts and Talents: God has given to each Christian at least one gift or talent, some ability that He would have us use for His purposes. He is glorified as we use those gifts for Him and not for ourselves. We are responsible to use these talents such that He is magnified; this often takes much forethought and care to ensure that we are living according to His purposes (Colossians 3).
  • The Word of God: God has ensured that we have a written copy of His Word. Many thousands have died in an effort to preserve, translate, print, and distribute His doctrines to His people. As Christians, we are responsible for carefully studying and disseminating His Word. We do not worship the Bible; yet, we take great care to ensure that we understand and teach exactly what He intends because the Bible is a written picture of Him (1 Timothy 4:16, 6:3-4; Titus 1:9, 2:1; 2 John 9; Jude 3).
  • Money: God is gracious in His monetary gifts to His children who are responsible to care for and use His money for His purposes. We do not love money; yet, we ensure that how we use it is in a manner which pleases God. We do not spend it on worldly endeavours that would glorify sin. We take great care of those possessions which God’s money has provided: our vehicles, our homes, our clothes, etc. We do not worship our possessions; yet, we take care of them as if God personally handed them to us.
  • Our Bodies: God has provided these temporary dwellings. We will receive new, permanent, eternal bodies at the resurrection. But for now, we must carry out God’s purposes with what He has given us. “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (Corinthians 6:19-20). Although these verses are specifically about sexual immorality as an abuse to the body, what we learn here is that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and that we are to glorify God in these bodies. These bodies are not our own; therefore, we must treat them as God would have us treat them. Many Christians would not smoke cigarettes or do drugs because they know that this brings harm to their bodies; yet, poor nutrition and lack of exercise can be just as damaging to the body.

Let’s see what happens to those other areas of stewardship if we do not properly care for these bodies.

  • Time: If we are sick or tired, we will not be able to devote as much time to the work of God. As we spend time in bed, at the doctor’s office, or just plain doing nothing, we lose time that could be devoted to God.
  • Gifts and Talents: Chronic illnesses and fatigue often rob us of the ability to properly perform tasks.
  • The Word of God: The more time we spend tending to sickness, the less attention is given to proper Bible study and the preaching of the Gospel. Many well-meaning Christians have not been able to minister to others simply because they just didn’t have the energy or they were too sick.
  • Money: Being sick costs Americans an amazing amount of money. From health care costs to lost work time, sickness is costing America. Medical costs -- including doctor visits, hospital stays, and medications -- account for a large portion of the family budget. It costs far less in the long run to get healthy and stay healthy through proper nutrition and exercise, rather than treat the symptoms of chronic diseases. Spending large sums on managing illness is not a wise use of God’s money.

We are to be good stewards in our relationships with others.

Look at our stewardship of relationships with others. We are to be good stewards as spouses, parents, children, fellow Christians, employees and employers. We can see that our lack of stewardship to God concerning our bodies also hampers our stewardship of relationships with people. If we do not properly care for our bodies, we know that it can negatively affect our relationship with our spouse. If we are to serve our spouse, can we do that with joy and to the extent he or she deserves if we are often tired or sick? Can we really care for our children properly if we are often sick? Did you know that depression and irritability are both often a result of poor nutrition and lack of exercise? When we do not care for our bodies we can either miss work outright or we go to work but cannot truly earn the wages we are paid because of our fatigue, or sickness, or depression. We are to be faithful as Christians, but due to illness, we can fall short of our promises and let down those who are counting on us to be there for ministry or friendship.

It should be noted here that we are not talking about congenital diseases that are not the result of poor nutrition. Certainly, there are many cases in which people have no control over their affliction. Yet, many diseases thought to be strictly hereditary have recently been shown to be at least partly due to diet and exercise. So, while we do not place blame on anyone, we do know that so many people could be helped through proper nutrition and adequate exercise programs.

With proper nutrition and exercise, Christians can devote more quality time to the work of God; more effectively use the gifts and talents He has given them; have the mental alertness and energy to study the Bible, teach, and preach; and spend less money on the health bureaucracy, leaving more money to be used for family and church needs. With proper nutrition and exercise, Christians may be able to minimize the problems that arise within relationships due to depression, irritability, fatigue, and sickness.


*Fitness results will vary from person to person.