Stewards of a Different Kind of Treasure

Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was Jewish and a believer but whose father was a Greek. The believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey. So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers. – Acts 16:1-5

The rebar shows in the concrete of the Berlin Wall

This remnant of the Berlin Wall testifies to the perceived danger of people maintaining relationships with one another on the part of the East German Communist rulers. The stark shadow is also a symbol of the dawn of a new day when the Wall came down.

They say it’s not what you know but who you know that opens doors and provides opportunities in life. Sometimes that’s a real challenge – especially when you’re looking in from the outside. And it’s quite welcome when you are the beneficiary of relationships  and connections that provide you with the inside track.

There is yet another way to assay the realities of relational capital that has little to do with one’s own personal benefit, or advantage over another. That has to do with the way we may leverage the relationships we have for the cause of God’s kingdom.

Relational capital is even more important than financial capital in the cause of the rule and reign of God. For God has all the silver and all the gold. He can provide those resources when and where he wills. But relational capital is lived out between people, and we have the sad capacity to undercut the blessings of God’s grace that is meant not only to be received, but also to be shared. What’s more, it is through relational capital that both our spiritual capital and financial capital are leveraged.

Consider the people mentioned in these verses. Timothy, his mother, and father provide entrance into new places and open the kingdom to new believers. Even though Paul and Silas are on a journey to re-visit the places they had previously shared the Gospel, their presence and the prior relationships they have enjoyed will bring the message of the Gospel into more people’s lives. The church will be strengthened, encouraged, and grow in the number of people who call Jesus Lord.

Certainly it is only God who causes the church to grow. But God works through people and people who leverage their relationships for the cause of his kingdom are part of something very special. They are stewards of a treasure (relational capital) for which there is no substitute.

1 comment
  1. I see a simple machine: lever and fulcrum in need of a pry bar.
    The lower edge of the lever is deeply embedded in the foundation on which the machine sits, while on the upper end rests opportunity waiting to be balancingly lowered to an attainable position.
    Enter the pry bar! The Holy Spirit pry bar moving us out of stagnation, a rut, a decisive action to remain out of motion or whatever. Balancing occurs as the Holy Spirit leverages HIS treasure on us!
    What a fun thought- exercise your words have provided today! Come Holy Spirit, you are welcome here! Leverage away!

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