All of our money belongs to God and we are to be faithful managers of His money. As stewards, we have a responsibility to use what we have been given wisely. It’s our responsibility to ensure that we are seeing “our things” not as our possessions, but as His. This is critical to helping us change the way we think about all He has entrusted to us.
Something that helps me stay focused is the fact that I was born into the world with nothing and will leave with nothing. This helps me see myself more as a “steward” rather than an “owner”.
Here are some things to consider when it comes to stewardship:
- When spending money, am I acting as if I own it or am I acting as the Lord’s manager? “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein” (Psalm 24:1). God owns everything in this world, and that includes me and my money. I’m not the owner of my money, just a steward or manager. I’m given money so I can use it on God’s behalf. When making your next purchase, ask yourself, “Am I acting as if I own my money or am I acting like this is God’s money?” This question alone may make all the difference between a good purchase and a foolish one.
- Can I offer up this purchase as a sacrifice to the Lord? If I am a manager or steward of God’s money, am I able to hold loosely to my money and the things it purchases for me? I need to be able to make a purchase and say to the Lord, “I did it for you. It’s all yours to use as you will.” I have to be willing to buy this thing knowing that I may not be able to have it or be willing to have it taken away, if that serves the Lord and His plan.
- Is this purchase noble and good or does this purchase prove another sin that Christ has had to settle on my behalf? It’s good to consider whether this is a noble purchase, a proper use of God’s money, or whether I am pursuing only selfish wants. You may pat yourself on the back after an act of generosity, only to be shown, moments later, of another area of life you’re being greedy in. It’s humbling.
The Bible gives guidance on the way I am to use my money and I need to keep a careful watch on myself to ensure I am using it that way. Money is to be used to support myself and my family, to support local church ministry, to bring relief to the poor, and many other noble ends. I need to ensure I am using my money in a balanced and biblical way. Money is not evil but it can expose the evil that inhabits our hearts.
I have found from my own life that my decisions about money reflect who I am serving. At the most stingy and greedy moments of my life it was painfully clear who my master was. I tried to convince myself that I was serving God, but in truth my decisions were made on their financial impact rather than on my faith in God. It’s an area we will all have room to grow in.
Let’s use our resources wisely and be good stewards of all that God has entrusted us with. I truly believe that understanding we’re just managers and how that applies to our lives will change the way we make decisions each day. If we really understand what it means to be good stewards, we will begin to not only see our lives change, but also the world around us. Like any Biblical principle, there are incredible benefits gained by following them for us all.