Two particular Bible verses anchor God’s ownership of everything—including money—and our steward ship role. First God’s ownership:
‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,” says the Lord of hosts.
And our stewardship role:
1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.
“Stewardship” is defined in the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary as “the conducting, supervising, or managing of something especially: the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.” When we recognize that everything in this world is of God, from God, and belongs to God, our perspective changes. Whatever we have has been entrusted to us to be tended, and cared for, to serve God’s purpose.
Our stewardship role increases with the blessings God bestows on us. If we have only a few assets, we are to manage them well and give of them to God. If we are blessed with much, then much more is expected of us. Regardless of the amount of assets, we are expected to do our best with what we have. Too often we hold on to “our money” because “we don’t have enough” to tithe or give to charity, but we have more than enough to go on trips, buy a luxury car, eat out every night of the week, have the latest and greatest smartphone, and so on.
Our priorities are reflected in our actions. How we feel about money is also reflected in our actions and our words. If we look at things from the perspective that each person can choose how much or how little to give of his/her money to a charity, then not giving at all or a little is fine. If we look at things from the perspective that all we have is God’s and what we do it with reflects how well we are doing as stewards of His assets, we look at things differently. (Study Ananias and Saphhira’s story in Acts 4:32-37 and Acts 5:1–10.)
If we have more than enough for extravagant trips and big houses, but nothing left to give in tithe or alms, then our priorities are not aligned with God’s. And we may—through our words and actions—signal that inner knowledge by making excuses for why we aren’t giving more. Tithes and first fruits are a matter of obedience. God has told us to tithe and to give him the first fruits of our increases. Alms and gifts are up to us. We don’t have to make excuses for not giving, but if we are blessed with being stewards of God’s assets, giving is integral to who we are and what we do as part of that stewardship.
Each of us has been given assets that the Lord has entrusted to our care. We are to be good stewards of those assets. Investing wisely, compensating fairly, and generating a return on the investment through the growth and employment of those assets, and giving generously back to God and to help others.
As proper stewards we are expected to:
• Use assets to generate more assets (Parable of the Talents Matthew 25:14–30)
• Pay wages at levels agreed to in full and on-time
• Pay all debts, in full and on-time
• Use accurate methods to “weigh and measure” our transactions, whether they are honest scales or fair negotiation methods
• Provide quality products and services
• Be truthful in promoting our products and services
• Compete fairly
• Give to God his tithe and first fruits
• Be generous in supporting those in need
• Hold employees and other accountable for results
Author: Lea A. Strickland, MBA CMA CFM CBM GMC
Copyright ©2012 Lea A. Strickland
All Rights Reserved