MY TWO CENTS:
If you’re in West Michigan like us, you’ve experienced the fun and fury of our disruptive winter weather. Since we’re mostly dug out of the snow, warmed up from the near frost bite, and our roads are passable again, we thought another edition of MTC might be good to warm the soul while we wait on the spring weather!
One of the Merriam-Webster dictionary online definitions of the word stewardship is “the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care.” During a breakfast meeting this morning the conversation turned to the relationships with which we’re blessed and our role in cultivating those relationships.
This got me thinking about the idea of being a good steward of our relationships with others. If you stop for a moment to consider all of the different relationships in your life, you might be like me in feeling a bit overwhelmed by the joy and enrichment those relationships bring to you. When I consider how grateful I am for the people in my life, it further motivates me to offer “careful and responsible management” of those relationships entrusted to me.
So…what does it mean to be a good steward providing careful and responsible management of the relationships in your life? Four characteristics, and what those characteristics mean to me, come to mind that I’ll share quickly for your consideration:
- Authentic (being real and caring even when we don’t have answers or solutions to offer);
- Transparent (graciously sharing how we think or feel without hidden agenda or selfish motives);
- Engaged (being present and purposeful with our undistracted attention); and,
- Available (allowing our schedule to be prioritized, or reprioritized, for others’ benefit).
As I think through these ideas and practical application, I’m challenged to be a better steward. No doubt I have room for improvement, and I’m excited to continue my growth for those with whom I have a relationship. They certainly deserve it!
Make it a great week!
Scott Cousino, CFP®