In my teaching lately with Farming God's Way I have been struck with how the idea of stewardship is much closer the Biblical model for business and farming than the mostly capitalist model I was told was biblical in the Christian world view teaching I received when I was younger. In this earlier teaching private ownership was emphasized as the correct way to view our lives and it influenced the treatment of all material goods around us.
In our training material we teach farmers that they need to aim for sustainable profitibility. Profit is not wrong! God is a God of multiplication -- a God of plenty. If there is no profit then there will be no life on earth. But the way in which we earn our living from the land must not rob the land of long term fertility just for gains in the short term -- it must be sustainable year after year; generation upon generation. We must add to our account (the soil) as much if not more than we subtract from the account. Our care for creation is not just a nice modern "green" idea but it is our job and our responsibility. If we do not care for our farmland we will see low yields and losses and hunger as the order of the day!
Of course, the solution is not socialism either, but an understanding that ultimately we own nothing (including our very lives) but are caretakers of all that comes under our influence. We are stewards who will give an account to our Creator.
The question is not whether any of us will be a steward -- the question is: what type of steward will you be?
I was inspired to write this short post when I found this devotional in my inboxthis morning, underlining the shift in my thinking. http://www.icr.org/article/20161/