God has given us all gifts. How do you make the best use of them? Do you keep them all for yourself or do you share them with others?
Harry Kraemer, an Executive MBA professor at Northwestern University, shared what he has noticed about good stewardship in younger generations. College students and even high school students that he has worked with are “very attuned to really making a difference.” He noted that much of his (older) generation understands the importance of helping others, but prioritized first getting settled in their own lives—buying a house, a car, and then later in life starting to share the excess with other people.
“What I notice with younger people … it’s, wait a minute—why would I wait until later? I don’t know how much time I have and I can start to make a difference now; I don’t need to wait until I’m 40 or 50 or 60 years old,” Harry explained.
Younger generations, he said, realize that they don’t need a lot of material things and they are willing to free up more time, treasure, and talent to share with others.
Can you say the same? Are you willing to part with portions of what God has gifted you in order to bless others?
First things first—determine what you have to share. Maybe it’s money, maybe it’s your knowledge or expertise, maybe it’s a few hours of your week.
We often say we don’t have the time, but Harry assures us that we do. With 168 hours in a week, you have time but you need to assess what your priorities are for using that time. He encourages each of us to take time to figure out what the trade-offs are for our gifts. If I don’t watch two hours of television every night—maybe I will watch just one episode of a show—that frees up 7+ hours each week to give to others.
When it comes to money you might have excess or you might not. But the vast majority of us can come up with something to share when we make a trade off. Instead of going out to eat you can free up some money to support the Church; by giving up your daily coffee stop, you can donate to your favorite non-profit.
Harry suggests that we all ponder the following: “Everybody has to think about what are their priorities, what can I do differently, and how do I use my 168 hours? Whether it is where you spend your time, what are the things God has given you as particular talents you can share, and how much of what you’ve got financially—does it make sense? There are maybe a lot of people who really need it a lot more than you and what is God asking you to do?”
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