Good economists of God’s grace

Bishop’s Message

A hospitality volunteer greets churchgoers at Faith Methodist Church. Photo credit: Faith Methodist Church.

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.
(1 Peter 4:10 ESV)

“Good stewards” in the verse above is literally, in Greek, “good economists”. The Bible urges us to be good economists of God’s grace.

The verse says that each of us has received a gift or “grace” from God. (The word gift is related to the Greek word for grace.) Since each of us has a “grace” from God, let us be good economists in investing that grace “to serve one another”.

March 2023 issue of Methodist Message highlights ways in which we might serve God by serving one another in our churches. There are many varied ways of doing this, just as 1 Peter 4:70 says: “As each has received … God’s varied grace.” We can serve in many varied ways because each of us has received varied gifts or graces.

Martin Buber tells the story1 of a famous Jewish Rabbi who, on his deathbed, is concerned about what God might ask him when he arrives at the gates of heaven. His disciples ask him, “Rabbi Zusya, are you worried that God will ask you why you were not as hospitable as Abraham, or as wise as Moses?”

“No,” replied Rabbi Zusya. “If God asks me that question, I know how to answer. I did not match the hospitality of Abraham nor the wisdom of Moses because I was not given the great measure of grace and wisdom which they received. My concern is not that God will ask me why I was not Abraham or Moses. My concern is that God will ask me why I was not Zusya.”

Each of us has received a gift-different from each other in measure and kind. Let us be good economists of God’s grace given to each of us. Or as Edward Hale said (I paraphrase):

No one can do everything,
but everyone can do something.
The something I can do, I ought to do.
And by the grace of God, I will.

1 Martin Buber, The Way of Man, According to the Teaching of Hasidism (New York: Routledge Classics, 2002), p. 10.

Bishop Dr Gordon Wong was elected Bishop of The Methodist Church in Singapore in 2020.
He served as President of the Trinity Annual Conference from 2012-2020.