Friday: Further Thought – The Marks of a Steward

Further Thought: Another mark of a good steward is individual accountability.

“It has ever been the design of Satan to draw the minds of the people from Jesus to man, and to destroy individual accountability.

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Satan failed in his design when he tempted the Son of God; but he succeeded better when he came to fallen man. Christianity became corrupted.” – Ellen G. White, Early Writings, p. 213.

With Christ at the center of our being, we are open to His guidance. As a result, our faith, loyalty, obedience, clear conscience, trustworthiness, and individual accountability will be revealed in our lives. Thus, as stewards, we are made complete in the hands of God (Ps. 139:23-24).

Individual accountability is an essential biblical principle. While on earth, Jesus was individually accountable to the Father (John 8:28). We are accountable for every idle word (Matt. 12:36). “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required”(Luke 12:48, NKJV). The biggest threat to individual accountability, though, is the tendency to transfer our responsibilities to someone else. “Let it be borne in mind that it is not our own property which is entrusted to us for investment. If it were, we might claim discretionary power; we might shift our responsibility upon others, and leave our stewardship with them. But this cannot be, because the Lord has made us individually His stewards.” – Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, p. 177.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Look at all the different marks of a steward we studied this week: individual accountability, trustworthiness, obedience, loyalty, a clear conscience, and faithfulness. How do these relate to each other? How would slackness in one area lead to slackness in the others? Or how might firm adherence in one area lead to adherence in the others?
  2. Dwell more on how the promises of the gospel can help those who are struggling with a guilty conscience. What promises can they claim?
  3. We often view the concept of “loyalty” as good in and of itself. But is that always so? In what ways might it be possible to be loyal to someone or something that is not good? Why, then, must the concept of “loyalty” always be understood in a specific context in order to see if this loyalty is good or misplaced?

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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons