The earth is the LORD’s and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it. - 
Psalm 24:1

These opening words from Psalm 24 are completely at odds with what most North Americans believe. Let’s face it, we like our stuff. We tend to define ourselves by what we own—from our modern homes and sporty cars to our stock funds and retirement plans. We worked hard for these things, we say. We can do with them as we like, right?

No way, says the psalm writer. Everything we have belongs to God. Everything. Our houses, our cars, our clothing, our bank accounts—our very lives belong to God. On the one hand, we can take great comfort in this truth. On the other hand, we face the responsibility that comes with being entrusted with someone else’s belongings.

Christian stewardship begins with a solid understanding that the property we call our own is not ours at all, but God’s. We are managers, or stewards, of his property. We must, therefore, define our task and seek to understand how to “do stewardship” in a way that pleases God.

From the "Introduction" to Stewardship: Keeping Faith with God’s Gifts by Mary VandenBerg. To order this study on stewardship.