Stewardship of Treasure
We have been entrusted with a multifaceted stewardship, but Scripture particularly stresses the treasure of our financial resources. While the Bible has about 500 verses on prayer and fewer than 500 verses on faith, there are over 2,300 biblical verses that deal with money and possessions. Without apology, our Lord said more about money than He did any other subject, except for the temporal versus the eternal. Over 10 percent of the New Testament relates directly to financial matters.
When it comes to governing our financial affairs, we must choose between two radically different approaches: the values of our society or the values of the Bible. The first alternative tells us to find happiness and peace through money; the second tells us to find the desire of our hearts in the Lord and to be content with what He gives us. Money is a good servant but a bad master—if we follow the world’s wisdom, money will dominate us, but if we submit to “the wisdom from above” (James 3:17), money will serve us as we use it to serve God and others.
Why is there such an emphasis? One reason is that God knew we would have trouble managing our money, and that we would spend a great amount of time earning, spending, and investing it. A second reason is that money has a profound effect on interpersonal relationships. Many people spend more than half their time thinking about money, and financial difficulties are a major cause of marital conflict and divorce. A third reason is that the way we use our money is a real measure of our commitment to Christ. Scripture relates money to the love of God: “But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?” (1 John 3:17). We can assume an appearance of spirituality in prayer, Christian service, and Bible knowledge, but we cannot fake the way we use our money and possessions. Our checkbooks reveal more about our character and walk with the Lord than we may think.
Scripture exhorts us to maintain two crucial attitudes concerning the stewardship of treasure: ownership and contentment. Since we will look at the secret of contentment at the end of the section on process spirituality, here is a brief word on ownership.
God is the owner of all things. “The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it” (Psalm 24:1). We come into the world with nothing and leave it with nothing (Job 1:21; 1 Timothy 6:7), but God says, “every beast of the forest is Mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird of the mountains, and everything that moves in the field is Mine” (Psalm 50:10-11). Everything we have, therefore, comes from Him (John 3:27; James 1:17). As we saw in 1 Corinthians 4:7, there is no such thing as a “self-made man.”
We may believe this truth in theory but deny it in practice. When this happens, we slip into the rebellious attitude that “My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:17). Instead, we must come to grips with the fact that everything we have in this world belongs to God and is only “on loan” to us. This includes not only our money and possessions, but also our families, careers, and plans for the future. If we can get straight on the principle of 100% ownership, we will be ready for the principle of 100% stewardship.
Taken from Ken Boa’s Handbook to Spiritual Growth
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