3 Stewardship Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic is still greatly impacting American lives, and its effects will undoubtedly be felt for some time to come. However, the pandemic has also presented an opportunity for all of us to gain better financial literacy and to become better stewards of not only our money, but our time and health as well. Here are three stewardship lessons that we can all take from this pandemic.
- Steward your money. A key financial lesson from COVID-19 has been simplification. Because there simply haven’t been the usual opportunities to travel or meet up with friends, many folks are spending less already. And by necessity, everyone’s had to cut back on luxuries like eating out and going to the movies. So, this is a good time to ask: what spending is really necessary? If you haven’t already been following a budget, it’s a great time to start. Take a look at what parts of your new-normal life you are enjoying and benefiting from, and think about how they can help you save money or use it more wisely.For example, you might be staying in and playing games with friends online or watching classic movies over services like Teleparty instead of going out. Or maybe you’re taking long walks and doing home workouts instead of paying for gym visits. If you’ve been enjoying cooking with your family at home, keep that going even when your state opens again. You’ll save money and make lasting memories that a quick stop at the drive-through can’t compete with. Plus, by spending less, you’ll create more margin in your budget for paying off debt, being more generous, and saving for the future.
- Steward your time. This year has forced many people to discover new rhythms of life. For some, that meant slowing down with plenty of time for crafting or reading since there were no work commutes or afterschool activities. But for others, it’s meant longer hours at jobs since the boundaries between work and home time have blurred due to remote work arrangements. And for still others, it’s meant a complex juggling act between monitoring children’s remote learning, their own jobs, and the usual tasks of managing a household. Whatever the situation, time and time management were on everyone’s mind.If you had extra time in 2020, how much of that time did you spend in the Word? How much time did you spend reaching out to our neighbors and discipling your family? How can you better use your extra time for God’s glory in 2021? And if time management was difficult for you in 2020, how can you create a little margin in your time budget for the people and the things that matter most to you, as well as for taking care of yourself?
- Steward your health. Of course, during a global pandemic, health has become a very important topic. Enforced quarantine and isolation gave everyone time to consider their own physical and emotional health. Also, we’ve recognized the importance of keeping ourselves as healthy as possible to avoid further strain on our local healthcare systems.As believers, we need to look past the glib “self-care” talk of social media influencers and focus on the things that truly make us whole. Prayer, healthy foods, movement and spending time outdoors in God’s creation are all tools that we can use to improve our inner and outer health this year and every year. It’s important that we support each other in our efforts to keep ourselves, our families, and our communities healthy and safe. That way, the bonds we have built and the good habits we have established will last beyond the current difficulties.
Although we usually use the word stewardship to talk about financial stewardship, the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that money isn’t the only thing worth stewarding. Stewardship, at its root, is about truly caring for everything that God has given us. As we move forward in 2021, let’s remember to take better care of ourselves, our resources, and each other.