1Co 4:1-2 “Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”
We are often concerned about what people think of us. It is only natural that we want to make a good impression. Even when we declare that we do not care what others think of us, that is not usually what we mean. Most of the time, we are saying that we are decided on a course, and we will pursue it even if others do not agree. That is not really the same thing as not caring what others think.
It mattered to Paul what men thought about him but not for his own sake. Neither did he want to just put on a good front. He was inviting an examination of himself when he said “Let a man so account of us.” The Greek word logizomai (translated here as “account”) means “to take an inventory” (see Strong’s).
As ministers of Christ, we should welcome men to “take inventory” of our speech, our actions, and our lives. That inventory should lead them to the unmistakable conclusion that we are indeed His servants. The word rendered as minister here means to be subordinate. Our lives should reflect that we understand ourselves to be in subjection to Jesus Christ in all things.
In our submission to Him, we are made to be stewards of the mysteries of God. According to Strong’s, the Greek word oikonomos (translated here as “steward”) means a house distributor (that is, manager), or overseer; figuratively a preacher (of the Gospel).” To be a manager or overseer is a grave responsibility. It means we are tasked with distributing to God’s house those things that He has revealed in the heart.
We are not at liberty to take up any part of the mystery that we desire. Since we are ministers, we take up only that which we are directed by the Holy Ghost. It is a dangerous thing for us to decide within ourselves what we should distribute to God’s household. We need to pray and seek His face and carry only that which the Holy Spirit gives us.
Being faithful to God’s leadership and truth is not just a surface trait. We are required by God to be faithful before Him and all men. When men take stock of us, whether for good or ill, they should come away with the certainty that we are preachers (stewards) of the gospel of Jesus Christ in both word and deed. Even if we are not called to stand in a pulpit, we need to realize that our lives preach to those around us. We cannot be found wavering in the task set before us.
May we share Paul’s purpose that when men examine us they find us faithful stewards to God in all that He has called us to do!