The secret to understanding stewardship comes in realizing that we are not asked to "give" something to God, but rather to "give back."
Absolutely everything we have on this earth is a gift from God. When
we give to God we are really only returning something that He gave to
us first. Here are two stories that illustrate that concept.


Planting a Tree

One
day a young man went to visit his old grandfather. He was surprised to
find his grandfather in the backyard planting a small peach tree. The
boy knew it would take many, many years for the peach tree to grow up
big enough that it would give peaches. If his grandfather wanted
peaches, the young man wondered, why didn't he just go to the store and
buy some. That would be so much faster.

Finally after watching his grandfather work for a long time at planting the peach tree, the young man asked, "Grandfather, why are you planting a peach tree?"

His grandfather answered, "Son,
all of my life I have eaten the peaches off of trees that other people
have planted. Now it is my turn to plant a tree that someone else can
enjoy."

Discussion questions:

  • What kinds of things do we use everyday because someone else planted a seed?
  • What seeds did someone have to plant so that we would have our school and our church today?
  • How can we plant seeds today that will benefit someone else later?
  • What kinds of seeds are we planting when we study hard and learn new things?


Cutting the Tonsure

In
the old Byzantine Church, part of the rite of Baptism was the cutting
of the tonsure. The tonsure was a small piece of the baby's hair that
was cut and symbolically given back to God. The symbolism was that the
baby had nothing else to give back to God in gratitude for the gift of
life. Yet as the child grew up he was to always remember that he had
an obligation to give back to God much more than just a few hairs from
his head. Actually everything we have belongs to God.