A paper published in Science reports of a study of two groups of people each given money: Half were told to spend the money on themselves; half were told to give the money to a person or to charity. Those who donated the money showed a significant uptick in happiness; those who spent it on themselves did not. Another study showed that offering aid to others can actually make the giver healthier—lowering blood pressure, stress, illness and mortality. Economist Arthur Brooks cites studies showing that Americans who make gifts of money and time are more likely to prosper and be satisfied than non-givers who are demographically identical. (Karl Zinsmeister, Mar 2017, Almanac of American Philanthropy)

Throughout October and November we will be reminded of these words from Matthew, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” and each of us at Lutheran Church of the Master will be invited to answer this question, “How can I participate in my church’s mission?”

We will hear the word “stewardship” frequently, and with that word we will think of budgets, money and pledge cards.

But stewardship is much more. Stewardship is a way of life. Stewardship calls for an integration between our faith and the way we live. “Stewardship is what you do after you say ‘I believe.’” Stewardship is nutrition for spiritual life.

It is said that love increases by giving it away; generosity is like love.

– Stephen H. Swanson