Virtue of Stewardship

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2 years ago

I mage from: Evangelical Luthe
  • One of the virtues that take us from the shore of unconcerned citizens, dormant citizens to a shore of fully loaded and well-vested citizens is the virtue of stewardship.

Early this year, I had a lengthy talk with one of my philosopher friends. The talk was about national enhancement through citizens' participation. His question was, "What do you think is the main catalyst for national enhancement?" I paused for a minute, after that, I told him "Stewardship". Within that minute, twenty answers rushed into my head, but the one I gave priority to was stewardship.

According to Marian Webster dictionary, stewardship is the act of "conducting, supervising, or managing something. It involves the careful and responsible management of something entrusted in one's care." Stewardship is as old as man’s existence. In the Book of Genesis 1:28, we are made to understand that God gave man the responsibility to take care of the things he created. A responsibility to be co-creators with Him.

Therefore, stewardship is the embodiment of our commitment as citizens and a catalyst for undivided participation in national progress.

It deepens our sense of maturity, responsibility, belongingness, one mind, and continuity in development. It gives us the authority to be in charge. These qualities that come with stewardship are the brain behind God placing His created things in the hands of Man. Thus, making Man accountable. It is these same strings that hold on us as citizens to take care of our country, Sierra Leone. By so doing, we go beyond the theoretical value of the phrase in our anthem " Great is the love we have for thee." It is only when we are grounded in our stewardship that we can face the reality of our national anthem and savour its practical relevance.

Stewardship is pertinent for citizens to exercise civic responsibility as a means of being accountable to God, fellow citizens, and themselves. Thus, it gives me goosebumps to see that stewardship is the most humiliated feature of citizens. The humiliation of stewardship is what is responsible for bad governance, corruption, partisan politics, mismanagement of funds, weak legislation, academic malpractice, office loafing, laziness, lack of local initiatives, indiscriminate dumping of refuse, rape, broken homes, homeless children, arm rubbering, child trafficking, insecurities, to name but a few.

Things to note about stewardship.

You are not alone: One of the things that easily make us veer of the role of being proper stewards is when the ‘self’ blindly dominates the ‘others’. This perception is destructive in the sense that the individuals only think of themselves as the only existing being that deserves better treatment. Thus, people barricade themselves with what they loot from the public. Therefore, stewardship becomes a blueprint because it goes beyond the self to include all other created things that co-exist with the individual. To think that you are alone is the same as to say that others do not count. It also gives you the ego to trample on them all in the name of self-gratification.

We are all involved: If there is anything that reduces stewardship to nothing, then that thing must be the idea of ‘I am not involved’. This concept makes us weak. It cuts us off from the communitarian strings. It dissociates us from the public. It stops us from doing the little meaningful things we are to do. Stewardship as far as citizenship is concerned, is the business of everybody. No man is an island. The action of somebody affects you. Your inaction or omission of action affects you and those around you. It is based on these facts that stewardship commands involvement. This is summarized in the third line of the first stanza of our national anthem, “Great is the love we have for thee.” It is not just by mouth saying but the practicality of the love.

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