If you’ve been following this series it is my sincere hope that you’ve learned a little more about yourself. I hope you’re more aware of all the ways you are gifted. I hope you’ve adopted a new perspective on hardships and challenges. Most importantly, I hope you’re experiencing a new sense of purpose in your life. This is what the Stewardship Principle has done for me.
In this third and final segment we will explore the last tenet of the Stewardship Principle. Once again, the tenets are:
- Everything in your life is a gift.
- Gifts are given by a gift-giver for the benefit of the recipient.
- You have a noble obligation to use your gifts for the good of the world.
I did not serve in the military, but I have friends and family who have. I also have friends who serve as police and firefighters. What I love about folks who choose to serve in this manner is how they describe their sense of duty. None of them were conscripted. All of them voluntarily joined the military or police/fire departments out of a personal sense of moral obligation. They had the qualifications, the desire, and a sense of calling that compelled them to stand in harm’s way for the service and protection of others. It is truly noble.
While imperfect, (and I sincerely hope I do not in any way trivialize military and/or public service) this is the best comparison I can make with the idea that you and I have a noble obligation to use our gifts for the good of the world. There are three common threads that I have identified. The first common thread is a sense of being compelled to action.
There is a way to define the word compelled that involves force or outside pressure, giving the impression that you will could be violated. Rather, in our case the word compelled carries a sense of internal pressure. A better description would be to say that there is a confluence of your will and your sense of calling. This happens when first you become aware of your gifts, talents, and abilities, then become aware of their intent, your potential, and your purpose. The logical next is to compelled to act on what you know.
In short, when you know what you’re made of and you know what you’re made for, the next step is to determine where and how you’re going to make it all happen.
As you start to act, you will experience the second common thread. You discover a sense of being called to something bigger than yourself. This one is somewhat funny to me because in one sense the Stewardship Principle seems very individualistic and self-focused. It’s about fully becoming yourself.
How could it be more?
There is something transcendent about fulfilling your purpose in life. While this might seem like it’s only about you, it’s really about how you fit into the larger picture. You’re not just fulfilling your purpose, you’re fulfilling a purpose the world needs. Really, it’s not just about you, it’s about how the rest of the world needs what you were your gifted like no else to do!
Also, you find spirit of camaraderie with others who are doing the same. The best way to understand it is to experience it. This is why I encourage folks to surround themselves with other people who are on similar journeys. Of course, much has already been written about the company you keep (show me your friends and I’ll show you your future, you are the sum of the 5 people you hang around with most, etc.).
This leads to the third and final common thread: a sense of responsibility to execute with excellence. As I mentioned above, the world needs what you have to offer. Folks who understand this take it upon themselves as a sacred honor to give their absolute best in the administration of their gifts. When I say that you have a noble obligation to use your gifts for the good of the world, this is what I have in mind.
If you’ve followed this entire series then you’ve learned about identifying your gifts, recognizing their source, and finding your purpose. One thing we all could agree on is that the world needs more people who are living out their purpose. Whether or not you practice the Stewardship Principle, I hope you’ll discover what makes you come fully alive and do it with excellence.
To your adventure,