Throughout scripture we’re challenged with many things that Gods expects of His children, and one that’s commonly discussed is the call to be good stewards of all of His resources.
As I’ve met with many people over the years, the definition of stewardship seems to change with each person. For some reason, we’ve molded it and modified the definition, much like other commands He has given us, to fit with what works most comfortably for us.
For many of you, your view of stewardship may simply involve tithing as the old testament scriptures have detailed. You take your 10%, give it to your local church, and believe that you’ve in-fact been a good steward of the resources that He has provided you.
But is that really all that’s expected?
Being a Good Steward Involves Everything
As the Lord is sovereign over ALL things, we can quickly grasp that stewardship involves more than the 10% portion we’ve chopped off and said, ‘okay Lord, I’m being a good steward. Here is 10% of what you’ve given me.’
On the contrary, we know that “the earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell” (Psalms 24:1). With that in mind, I want to challenge you to consider other areas in your life where we’re called to be good stewards.
Definition of Steward: “a person who manages another’s property or financial affairs.”
1. His Children
I rarely hear this, but it is refreshing when I do: “these are the Lord’s kids and we’re raising them as such.”
Sure, your children may be your biological children, but in reality they are the Lord’s. Are you raising them to know their true father? Are you raising them with the thought that you are truly managing them to bring glory to God and bringing them up for His sake?
2. His House
It often frustrates me, but I’ve met a lot of Christians that believe there are more important things to do besides keeping up with their homes. Sure, in the grand scheme of things there are more important things but that doesn’t mean we should trash our homes, not maintain them properly, and not keep the lawn mowed.
The house that you live in is the Lord’s. It’s a resource He has provided you for His good: to foster relationships, to steward His children, and to offer up to others. Furthermore, being a steward of a home also comes with a financial aspect: if you’re not maintaining the house properly, then it’s likely that it’s losing value.
How is that any different than throwing away $100 or $5,000 of God’s money?
3. His Car
I was recently challenged on this and it’s one of the reasons I’ve written this post. Before a few weeks ago, I’d never heard of a car being “the Lord’s car,” but in reality, that’s exactly what it is.
Being cheap is something my boss is good at. He’s made a very good living, but when it comes to buying a car he knows how to find a good deal. For years he drove a 2003 BMW but with 160,000 miles it recently started to break down. So, a few weeks ago he bought a ’07 Mercedes for $14,000 (Kelley Blue Book value of $20k).
Admittedly, his mindset changed a little when he bought the fancy, status-symbol Mercedes. He didn’t want to get it scratched and was nervous of other people driving it; but with his wife constantly reminding him that it’s the “Lord’s car”, he’s already lent it out a handful of times to people within his church that needed to borrow a car (any car) for the day.
4. His Resources
Whether or not you tithe or give to your local church, the reality of being a good steward is understanding that everything we possess is the Lord’s. While I’ve touched on a few particulars here in this article, the truth is that 100% of everything you own is His…and he’s entrusted it to you.
If you give 10%, it’s not just the 10% that’s the Lord’s; the other 90% that you blow on miscellaneous junk is also His. Yourself, your talents, your children, your animals, and everything you own is really His.
In a world where material possessions and wealth are king, it’s important that we remember everything we own isn’t truly ours. It all stays when we pass and we’ve simply been entrusted to manage it for a specific period of time.
Today, I encourage you to think differently about His possessions. Being a good steward goes well beyond giving the Lord 10% of your income.
Jason is a financial advisor and Dave Ramsey-trained counselor that blogs over at WorkSaveLive. He aims to educate his readers on a variety of financial topics while sharing his family’s journey out of debt and a weekly delicious recipe.
Jason @ WSL says
Thanks for the opportunity to guest post, Peter! It’s fun to switch things up and talk about Biblical aspects of managing money and philosophy in general!
Peter Anderson says
Thanks for the great post Jason, you really bring up a lot of great points about how important it is for us to give up ownership in our lives to God, and realize and give praise to Him for all that he has given to us. It can be easy to slide into the attitude that we did everything on our own, and that we deserve the credit, but when it comes down to it, God is the one that has give us everything we have, not only our material possessions, but also our abilities, our relationships and so much more. In light of that it’s important to have an attitude of gratitude and thankfulness, and make sure to thank and praise Him for all he’s done. Thanks for contributing!
Thank you so much for the reminder. I just asked a question on another site about the obligatory “10%”. I want to be a blessing to others, and your post rang a bell; so glad I found it – or the Lord led me to it! ;)
Jason @ WSL says
Ben, I’m glad you came across the post and it was able to help serve as a reminder of what He expects from us. It’s easy to just segment off 10% and think the rest of our belongings don’t belong to Him, but when you’re able to manage everything faithfully, I think it changes your life and the way you look at it!
William @ Drop Dead Money says
Great post, Jason. There is one other item we should steward, probably the thing we value more than anything else: our time. I once tried to apply the 10% principle and carve out 2.4 hours a day. I’m embarrassed to say that was like my first million: I had to give it up as a bad job. :)
I don’t think we need to be legalistic about it, but we should always keep in mind: where your treasure is, their your wallet, daytimer, dreams and effort will be. Checkbooks and calendars speak louder than words…
Heather Bryant says
I love how you think! I do wonder since you are a financial advisor, How you believe God feels about the way we spend our other 90%. ?