“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”—Galatians 2:20
“One of the greatest things God ever did was deliver me from myself,” Daphna Tobey shared.
A humble follower of Christ, wife, mother, geriatric caregiver, Taylor University ministry partner, and much more, Daphna has become a beloved part of the Taylor family and an encouragement to many as she lives out biblical stewardship in her day-to-day life.
Daphna and her family first became part of the Taylor University family when her daughters, Teri (’91) and Tracy (’92), attended Taylor University. Teri graduated with a major in Psychology, and Tracy graduated with a major in Communications and Theatre. Tracy has been part of the Taylor faculty since 2005.
A First Lesson in Giving
Growing up in a hard-working Texan family coming out of the Great Depression, she learned early on the importance of generosity. Recently, she was asked to reflect on her first giving experience, and she remembered it quite vividly.
“I was a preschooler,” she said, “and my mom wrapped five pennies in a handkerchief for me, and I gave them away in my Sunday school class. A seed was planted that day.”
In her younger years, she shared she didn’t fully understand the total truth and principle of giving. Today, she lives by the motto: “You don’t give to get. You get to give.”
You Cannot Outgive God
“And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”—Matthew 10:42
Since then, Daphna has been called to give in both big and small ways.
“You cannot outgive God,” Daphna believes. “God owns everything, and everything belongs to Him. He makes us stewards so we can pass it around. The only reason we make money is to give it away—to share, to provide, and to bless others.”
Daphna tries to give every day, even if it’s just a little. She’s called to give her cup of cold water in his name. She finds joy in giving to individuals and continuously prays, “Lord, may I see the needs around me, and may I be willing to meet those needs.”
Recently, Daphna had an employee who was losing her automobile, and she gave to help get her car back. She’s also giving to support a missionary in London, an elementary school in Africa, a Christ-centered theatre company, a nonprofit in Kenya, and to her church.
Daphna is also a proud ministry partner of Taylor University and loves to give to Taylor because of the impact it has had on her two daughters and because of Taylor’s commitment to remain true to the word of God and follow the example of Christ.
“God calls you to overflow, to give,” Daphna shares. “The return from giving is better than any bank. It’s beautiful, it’s true.”
Stewarding Whole Lives
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”—Galatians 5:22-23
“I think we’re called as Christ followers to be good stewards of all things,” Daphna shared. Biblical stewardship is how we steward our relationships, or time, bodies, jobs, the earth, and more.
On being a good steward of her time. In addition to her commitment to her family, Daphna serves at church, has taught multiple bible studies, is a spiritual director, and has been involved in her church’s retreat ministry for women. “Lord, you have freedom to interrupt my time whenever you need me,” Daphna prays.
On being a good steward of her body. Daphna excitedly shared that she rode her bike for 45 minutes that morning.
On being a good steward of our possessions. The older she gets, the less Daphna feels tied to the world and our things. “We’re sojourners,” she shared, “and we don’t want to get tied down to stuff. Because it’s not what you own, it’s what owns you.”
Where to Begin
Her encouragement for someone who wants to live out biblical stewardship?
“Start giving. Even if it’s five pennies wrapped in a handkerchief. Train your children. If they mow lawns, 10% goes to God. All of it goes to God. Teach them that God owns all things. You’ve got to start with the least, and then the big.”
We invite you to learn more about what it means to be a whole-life steward of the time, talents, relationships, and treasures God has given you.
Biblical Stewardship—or Whole-Life Stewardship—is a ministry provided by Taylor University to our ministry partners. Find out how this concept could radically change the entire trajectory of your life.