Saturday’s Post: Learning From Lehman
We live in the most prosperous and wealthy nation that has ever been. I would say this is one of the most relevant spiritual topics both on a macro and micro level to the Church. It also doesn’t hurt that this topic is right up my alley given my profession. In my profession I have seen all kinds of examples of stewardship where money is treated as the master and how people are consumed with making and acquiring the next dollar as well as the avenues and lengths they have gone to get it.
Do you realize that money/stewardship is one of the most frequent topics in all of scripture? Did you also realize that in the 89 Chapters of the gospel accounts (Matt, Mark,Luke, and John) that money/stewardship is discussed approximately 123 times. Further more one half of all of Jesus’ parables discuss money/stewardship in some aspect? And lastly some of the most harsh warnings in scripture are in regards to money/stewardship.
So what is stewardship? I define stewardship in very simple terms…. Stewardship is the management of an asset that is from or belongs to another. With that definition in mind it brings me to what must be the first principle in Christian stewardship. EVERYTHING BELONGS TO GOD!!! See Deuteronomy 10:14 and Psalm 89:11. With that definition of Stewardship and the first principle in mind we need to ensure that we give equal significance, effort, and focus in acquiring assets and proper handling of these assets. It has to be a balance or we run the risk of stepping into the many harsh warnings that we see in scripture.
A few of these warnings are found in 1 Timothy 6:9-10, Matthew 19:24, and Matthew 6:24. As you can see, it is very clear the warnings that scripture lays out for us in our pursuit of possessions and money and how easy it is to be overtaken by those desires. However, if we go back to the first principle that EVERYTHING BELONGS TO GOD, we are merely stewards of his assets that he created and gave to us, and we realize that we only have possession for a short period of time
Next let’s take a look at what the wisdom writer of Ecclesiastes has to say in regards to this topic. The writer brings out the meaningless cycle and toil, the burden of trying to keep up with others, and the effects of never being satisfied. However, he also points out that we can have satisfaction as we see in chapter 2:24-25.
So as we are going about living in a world that views Stewardship in basically an opposite way that we strive to as Christians, let’s remember the words of Jesus in Acts 20:35: IT IS MORE BLESSED TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE!