Who Does That?!
I really like this story as told online by Michael Quillen of Crossville, Tennessee:
I met my wife, Julia, at a Bible study where 30 to 40 people gathered every Friday night to sing, break into small groups, and then come together for fellowship afterwards.
I became one of the regular musicians in the group. I played an old guitar and was beginning to think about a new one. A friend of mine in the Bible study had two nice guitars, and he lent me one. It was the nicest guitar I had ever played; I cherished it as if it were a newborn child…I was careful not to bang it into things. I gently wiped down the strings and body after playing. I tenderly placed the guitar in its velvet-lined case. I worried about things such as the humidity of the room where the guitar was kept.
I borrowed this guitar for months and was thinking of buying it. Meanwhile, Julia and I became engaged. One day, as our wedding approached, Julia said, "The guitar is yours. I bought it for you weeks ago as an early wedding present."
My first reaction was ecstasy. The most beautiful guitar I had ever played was mine. My second reaction was relief. Since the guitar was mine, I could stop babying the thing. I didn't have to treat it so gently or clean it so carefully.
Then she got me. "Isn't it really God's?" she asked. "Shouldn't you take good care of it like you did when it was yours, but you didn't think it was?" What I had been doing without knowing it was stewardship. Stewardship is taking care of what we have as if it is on loan from someone else, because everything is on loan to us—from God.
Jesus makes a similar statement in his Sermon on the Mount after he reminds us that we are “the light of the world.” Mr. Quillen says, “No one takes a good friend’s guitar and then treats it with disdain. Who would do that?” Jesus says, “No one would take a light and hide it under a basket. Who would do that?”
The answer is worthy of our attention, so I’ll talk about it this Sunday.
A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)