The Blogger is a Steward

As I was listening to Fr. Mahan in the Spirituality of Stewardship Retreat that I attended, it dawned on me that a blogger is a steward. What is a steward?

A steward is defined by my dictionary as: "one who manages another's property or financial affairs." Stewardship, as taught during the retreat, is a "way of life," deeply rooted in our relationship with Jesus Christ. So, how can something so spiritual apply to something as practical or as enjoyable as blogging (or writing)?

In a "Stewardship: A Disciple's Response: A Pastoral Letter on Stewardship," published in 1992 by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, a steward was characterized by several qualities: gratitude, responsibility, generosity, and being able to "make a return to the Lord with increase." How do these apply to bloggers or writers on the internet?

1. A blogger is grateful. -- We are thankful for the ability to write. We may not be perfect or skilled communicators most of the time but in ways we cannot start to imagine, we are able to connect with readers. We are happy when people drop by to visit our sites; when they take the time to comment or send us e-mail; when our traffic starts to increase. Sure, we spend time writing and we take time to promote our sites but do we really know how people stumble upon our sites for one reason or the other? Where do our ideas and topics come from? We are never really owners of all that we have. All the good that we have is a gift from a gracious and generous God.

2. A blogger is responsible. -- When we realize that what we have is not really ours, we have a tendency to take better care of it. I am sure you own your domain name (to the extent that you bought it and paid for it) and that you pay for your webhosting, but that does not give you the license to do and write as you please. Words have power. The written word, especially so. You may forget what someone said verbally and you may always argue about what someone said or did not say, but the written word can always be revisited, re-read, rechecked.

The internet is not a safe and clean place. Far from it. As a writer or blogger though, what will you contribute to this whole set-up? Will you add something useful and informative or shall you tear down and destroy?

3. A blogger is generous. -- Bloggers are here to share. To share their thoughts, to share information, and to share their opinion. It would be a perfect world if what one was willing to share could help or uplift another person. Give of your time, as well as your talent. Point your readers in the right direction for something that they may be searching for. Be happy for a blog (or blogger) that is highly successful or is starting to shine. The world is wide on the web and each of us can find our own little corner to spruce up or enrich.

4. A blogger makes a return to the Lord with increase. -- How do you use your talent in writing or blogging to serve other people other than yourself or your family? There may be a way for you, as a blogger or writer, to share your time, talent, and treasure with a bigger group. Contribute to a worthy cause or project. Help an organization you believe in with its website. Donate part of your earnings to your parish or to a charitable institution.

We do not exist solely for ourselves just as we do not blog solely for ourselves. When we realize that blogging is not just a hobby or a profession but a tool that we can use to accomplish some amount of good, then I guess we can truly say that the blogger is a steward. =) And as we all struggle and strive to attain the status of being good and faithful stewards, we only know too well what can be found at the end of the race.

[By Angelica Viloria | Wednesday, August 22, 2007]

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