Few men are so humble as not to be proud of their abilities;
and nothing will abase them more than is:
What hast thou, but what thou hast received?
Come give an account of thy stewardship.
Bradstreet has summarized & applied the following passages in her aphorism:
1 Corinthians 4:1–7 (ESV)
4 This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful. 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4 For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. 5 Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.
6 I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another. 7 For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?
As stewards, all gifts must be exercised for God’s glory:
1 Peter 4:7–11 (ESV)
7 The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. 8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Notes from a “Faithful Stewardship” a sermon of Spurgeon on April 14, 1887 on the text 1887:
From Faithful Stewardship:
Must look after others: not merely self
Under the Master’s command
let us come forth to speak to our fellow-servant, not our own words, but the words of him who is Master …. It is an ill day for us when we begin to think that our thoughts are to be given out in the house instead of the Master’s thoughts.
Will be called to give an account
The great Master is always close at hand, and the steward constantly goes to him with an account of all his work.
Is entrusted with his Master’s goods.
Must protect those goods
Must dispense those goods
The property is to be cared for to bring benefit to the Master.
How a steward is found faithful
Faithful to the Master: not a traitor
Faithful to our office
Faithful to the those things committed to the steward
Faithful to the outside world as well
Acting like the Master
Acting to please men: not the Master
Being careless in the work
Employing the goods for some end other than that which the Master determine
Caring more for the opinion of our fellow servant
Forgetting that the Lord will soon come