Being a Good Steward of What God Entrusts to Our Care
1 Corinthians 10:26 tells us that God owns it all: “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it,” and Peter tells us that we are His Stewards in 1 Peter 4:10: “Use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards.” That includes Time, Talents and Treasures (money & assets). And Proverbs 22:9 promises: “A generous man will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor.”
The Great Commandment is very clear when Jesus responds to a scribe’s question in Mark 12:28-33, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 And the scribe said to Jesus, “You are right, Teacher… and there is no other besides Him. 33… to love Him with all the heart… and to love one’s neighbor as oneself.” And in following this Commandment, we will be blessed.
Financial Advisors counsel us on being stewards of the Treasures of money and assets that we can use to Live, Give, Owe and Grow in our life. Key to this are living within our means, investing regular savings for future goals, making gifts, paying our obligations like taxes and credit for real needs… while avoiding consumer debt with Proverbs 22:27’s warning, “If you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched from under you.” With that, we can grow a “Financial Well-being” from which we can serve others in our Family, Church, Community and Estate:
- Our Family, as 1 Timothy 5:8 tells us, “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” Care for our family is also a fine basis from which to serve others.
- Our Church, as God tells us in 2 Corinthians 9:7: “Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” Planned giving in our lifetime can serve the mission of our church family.
- Our Community, as Jesus related to followers in Mathew 25:35, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” And Jesus adds in Matthew 25:40, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” The Bible doesn’t tell us that money is evil, but our love of money is, and our giving allows us to “Love our neighbor as ourself,” which also helps us break the power that money can have.
- Our Legacy, as Proverbs 13:22 tells us, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.” Planning for legacy gifts is important in our Walk with the Lord.
Through our giving, we can “love our neighbors,” “serve one another,” and “be disciples for the Lord.” And our service can also bring joy and fulfillment as we work with others and those we serve. Scripture tells us it’s more blessed to give than to receive, and when we’re giving, it’s very hard to be selfish. Along with that, our giving can serve others and also develop important relationships as it brings many blessings that are driven by our loving attitude.
So, a proper focus on our finances can build a well-being that strengthens us in many ways… including a peace of mind that can open our heart to focus on other things and increase our productive time with family, close friends and shared activities. In doing these things, marital unity with our spouse regarding our goals and plans to use our hard-earned money is so important.
Written by Don Calhoun – Gladvisor, Baycities Church, Lomita, California