When we think about stewardship, we are best to use a broad definition. How broad? Well, God owns everything. Therefore, we must be stewards (non-owners) of all that God has provided to us-which is, again, everything.
Money is only a part of stewardship, as it is only a part of our lives. Our time and talent are just as much a part of what God owns, and we are just as much stewards of this as the money in the bank. It is true that money is perhaps the most elaborated part of our resources, but we should not limit ourselves to thinking only about money when thinking about how best to respond to and show gratitude for God’s gifts to us.
Biblical Money Facts
- There are 2350 verses in the Bible concerning money.
- Over 15% of the verses in Matthew, Mark and Luke are about material goods.
- Almost half of the parables that Jesus taught concern possessions.
- Jesus talked more about money and its uses than heaven and hell combined.
- Money is evil: 1Timothy 6:10a said “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil”. Anything that we think transcends God is a sin and to be considered evil.
- Money is the key to happiness. Luke 12:15 Jesus says” Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.”. This is but one of many such admonitions against conflating money and happiness.
- Financial success is determined by how much money you make. Financial success and proper stewardship is determined by how you spend what you have.
- Most people do not have a money problem, we have a management problem.
- Lack of proper stewardship disciplines creates situations where our yearning capacity exceeds our earning capacity
Wealth as defined by a follower of Christ is a person who is content with what they have.
The Building Blocks of Stewardship
Spend Less than You Earn
The first component of a sound stewardship discipline is savings.
This means primarily getting control of your spending. The savings page has some excellent resources to help you achieve this.
Reorient your spending to God’s priorities and instead of overspending and feeling overwhelmed, you can instead feel the peace and contentment that God wants for all His children.
The second component is Debt Elimination.
Getting out of debt gives you much more control and flexibility to do for God instead of debt collectors. While there is no outright prohibition to debt in the bible, it is strongly cautioned against. The debt page has excellent information to assist you in this endeavor.
The choices you made put you into debt, and the choices you make can get you out of debt. Following God’s financial plan can set you debt free!
Owe Only God
Give, Then Give Some More
The third component is to Give
Giving, or tithing, is a most appropriate response to God’s gifts. This may be money, or it may be time and talent. The point is that we should in an intentional way give back, or better yet, pay it forward. To build giving into your spending plans also makes you more prudent about the use of your resources. The giving page has great ideas on how to increase your giving.
The cliche says “Give til it hurts”. I say “Give til it feels good”
The final component is to prudently Invest.
We must make provision for the future and do so in a prudent, conservative manner. We must at the same time avoid the trap of hoarding and strike a balance between hoarding and prudent accumulation. The Investing page lays out a plan that may very well assist you in attaining your long-term goals.
Following simple, understandable guidelines you can increase your chances of financial success. God’s people, as it turns out, are pretty good money managers.
Get Rich Quick, Slowly