Are You an Administrator of Grace?

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you...

Ephesians 3:2

In the first two chapters of Ephesians, Paul paints in broad strokes a picture of God's saving, unifying work in the cosmos. He concludes by focusing on the people of God, who serve as a unified, holy temple in which the Spirit of God dwells.

Chapter 3 begins in a different vein, with Paul explaining his mission in light of God's cosmic work. After noting that he is a prisoner (literally) because of his ministry to the Gentiles (3:1), Paul writes: "Surely you have heard about the administration of God's grace that was given to me for you..." The Greek word translated here as "administration" is oikonomia, which means "management, arrangement, or stewardship." It is closely related to the word oikonomos, which referred to one who managed a household or property belonging to a master. Paul sees himself as one to whom God has entrusted his grace, and who is responsible for administering this grace faithfully. God endowed Paul with a very specific element of grace, namely, the gospel of Jesus Christ and its implications. Paul's particular administration meant delivering this good news to the Gentiles.

Though you and I have not been sent as the first proclaimer of the gospel to the Gentiles, we also have been entrusted with God's grace so that we might manage it well. In a sense, all that we have has been given to us and is therefore a manifestation of grace: our life, our talents, our education, our opportunities. Yes, even our families, our jobs, our cultural power, and our financial resources are elements of divine grace. God has given us everything we have so that we might use it well for his purposes. Therefore, like Paul, we are to be administrators of grace.

As I think about my life, I find this perspective to be both refreshing and challenging. It enables me to see my whole life as a participate in God's gracious work in the world. It encourages me to ask myself the following questions, which I invite you to consider as well.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Do I see my life as an opportunity to administer God's grace? If I were to see my work in this way, how might I work differently? How faithful and effective am I as an administrator of God's grace?

PRAYER: Thank you, dear Lord, for all that you have given to me, for the countless manifestations of your grace in my life. Help me to see my life as an opportunity to administer your grace faithfully, for your purposes. Teach me to think of myself as an administrator of grace no matter where I am or what I am doing. May this perspective transform my work, my relationships, my daily priorities. To you be all the glory. Amen.

Image courtesy of Laity Lodge, one of our sister programs in the Foundations for Laity Renewal.