Let Wisdom Guide By Andrea Leigh Capuyan
The Wisdom that Will Guide You
Wisdom is the the hallmark of a steward’s life. Being a steward leader is not a description of activities, rather it describes one’s character and one’s view of self, others, and God. It is the daily commitment to being molded and shaped, rather than creating new habits or organizational structures. It is the redefining of one’s life. It is a posture, not a plan. It is an identity – the whole of who we are. Like Joseph we are moved and renamed – no longer prisoner – now the King’s most favored one. And this new identity – this calling – is not done by us. It is the King who releases us from the cage and sets us on a new path. This movement begins with our humble agreement that we are God’s. And as the writer of Proverbs instructs us, it is only through humility, releasing our demands for control that wisdom flourishes.
The Female Steward
Years ago when I began learning more about being a steward leader I turned to Proverbs 31. While Joseph and Daniel are often looked at as expressions of the classical role of stewards in the ancient world, I resonated with this woman of valor found in this passage of Proverbs. She is imaged to be – a trusted companion, a confidant, the wife and lover of a king – a steward. Fidelity, dependency, and intimacy become the springboard of her kingdom activities.
Proverbs 31 holds more for us than lessons in effective steward management. Within this last chapter in this piece of Wisdom Literature is the heartfelt prayer for wisdom. She is intended to be wise. For there remains a longing for godly power in this world which results in beauty and flourishing. A power which releases creativity and goodness. However, disconnected from God, untethered from wisdom – our capacity to live as we are designed is impossible. Wisdom guards the heart of this faithful steward. Wisdom is the companion of power.
In vanity and deceit, humans strive to dominate, not as stewards, instead, we are in competition with one another and in competition with God. The commitment to autonomous rule, rejecting the authority of the King, leaves humanity struggling to survive, even though our wounded hearts still ache to experience something different – something more. The Wisdom Literature of the Proverbs captures the need of the human heart to taste again of the fruitful life of the Garden, nourished again by God. To be dependent again on God. To no longer hide from Him, to freely share our fear and desires with Him again.
In Proverbs, God’s stewards are invited again to consider where they will place their trust, whom will they rely on. It is folly to steer one’s course. A steward’s life flourishes when we agree to let godly wisdom take root and make us new. Through feminine imagery, Proverbs illustrates the beauty of wisdom contrasted against the seduction of foolishness and silly thinking. This piece of Scripture concludes by describing God’s stewards as valiant, wise, and humble. To be valiant requires strength, grit, and risk. Wisdom requires valor and courage.
It is tempting for the activities of daily vocation and even the activities of spiritual life to become robotic. Yet daily life, even daily rituals are meant to provoke one’s ongoing creativity. This requires dedicated insight, resisting the urge to settle for a life of necessity and boredom. This is not a rejection of the ordinary. Wisdom infuses the ordinary with significance because it focuses us on eternal purposes, inviting God’s advancement not our own. Wisdom rejects popularity and comparison. Wisdom keeps us present to the place where God has us – joining God in His work.
Vanity minimizes the significance of a steward’s calling – to be faithful and trustworthy. The wisdom produced in the life of a bold and courageous steward invites one to be truthful about reality. Wisdom brokers in reality, not fantasy or the temptation of celebrity. Wisdom infuses all activities of a good steward. This wise steward’s work is good, diverse and it results in blessing. Wisdom will direct one to goodness. Wisdom cultivates growth, goodness, and abundance in creation and humanity. The wise steward blesses their relationships – their community. This steward is burdened to care for her community, including impoverished and starving hearts. This wise steward moves to where God is at work – redeeming and restoring this fractured world.
Proverbs is the continual invitation to abundant knowledge, yet the writer of Proverbs is acutely aware of this broken world, which is full of folly. The pursuit of wisdom and righteousness becomes the difficult sojourn of our spiritual life. To live honestly in this tension between the Garden and the Fall requires discernment. A valiant steward ventures into every endeavor in every arena seeking God’s perspective, seeing more clearly our selfish expectations, and willing to shed more of our pride. Wisdom asks us to admit – what we cannot know, what we cannot control, and what we cannot do. God’s steward courageously lives each day knowing we are not yet who He created us to be, and committed to allowing God to make us into who He wants us to become. And in that place wisdom will be our guide.
Andrea Leigh Capuyan is the Executive Director of Laurel Pregnancy Center. Andrea holds a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from York College. She is a Credentialed Christian Nonprofit Leader with Christian Leadership Alliance and a Certified Nonprofit Accounting Professional.
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