What Does The Bible Have to Say About Stewardship?

February 2, 2015

“The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;”

Psalm 24:1

 

Matthew 25:14-30 reads,

“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents (a talent is about 1000 dollars) of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.  The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’

His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’

His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

Then the man who had received the one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed.  So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?  Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents  For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.   And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

 

     What do the above Scriptures have in common?   Both of them teach us an important rule for living in God’s kingdom and managing our lives and finances God’s way.   They illustrate The Stewardship Principle.  

 

     What is the Stewardship Principle?  

 

     Basically, the stewardship principle teaches us that everything in the world belongs to God.   (Psalm 24:1; Psalm 50:10)  

 

     As Christians, we acknowledge that everything in our lives, including our very lives, ultimately belongs to God.   This includes our bodies, our time, our jobs, our families, all of our possessions, and our finances. 

 

     The other side of the stewardship principles is that although God owns everything, He has made us His stewards or managers.   It is our job to manage what He has given us to the best of our ability, and for His glory.  

 

     Growing up, my Mom taught this principle to my brother and I.   She taught us that everything we had belonged to God and was a gift from God.   This included our home, our clothes, our toys, our schoolwork---everything.   Because everything belonged to God, we needed to be “good stewards” and take care of it for Him.   Like Jesus taught in the parable of the talents, someday we will give an account to God for how we take care of the things that He gives us to manage for Him. 

 

     Because I grew up being taught this principle and watching my Mom set the example of being a good steward, it came naturally for my brother and I to see our lives within the scope of the stewardship principle.   It was normal for us to think:

 

--We must take care of our possessions, because they belong to God.

 

--We needed to pick up our toys and hang up our clothes, because they belonged to God. 

 

--We need to keep our house clean because it belongs to God.

 

--We need to study hard in school and do our best, because our education is a gift from God.

 

--When we got jobs, we knew we had to do our best because we were working for God.

 

--When it came to choosing a life path, we knew the decision wasn’t ours, but rather, we needed to seek God’s will for our lives because ultimately our lives belonged to God. 

 

     The Stewardship Principle is a totally inclusive way of thinking that will encompass every area of your life, including all of your money.  

 

     According to the Stewardship Principle, any income you have from any source was given to you by God and belongs to Him.  

 

     You have a salary because God allowed you to find a job and gave you the health, the skills, and the abilities to do your job.  

 

     Any money you inherited was a blessing from God.  If you made money on an investment, it was because God allowed it to thrive so you could be blessed. 

 

     No matter what your source of income, ultimately it comes from God, and He has chosen to entrust you with the responsibility for managing it.  

 

     Looking at your finances from this angle, you see the enormous responsibility you have to manage your money wisely.  Like the servants in the parable of the talents, you have been given Your Master’s money to manage and someday He will require you to give an account for how you invested and managed His money.   Knowing this, we realize the seriousness of learning God’s money managing principles and applying them in our lives.   This Principle should move us to action.

 

     What actions?

 

     First, the Stewardship Principle should challenge us to do all we can to learn what the Bible has to say about money.   There are lots of great books on the subject, including Dave Ramsey's "A Guide to Financial Freedom".   Still, one of the best ways to learn what the Bible has to say about money is to do a word search and read all of the Scriptures that say something about money or finances.  (You'll be surpised how many there are!) 

 

     Feel like that task is too daunting, then just start with the book of Proverbs.  Read through the entire book and highlight or write out every verse that talks about managing money, work, debt, saving, giving, or stewardship.  As you're reading, remember, these are the commands God wants us to obey.  It's the guidebook for being good stewards of all He's given us.

 

     As you are researching what God has to say about money, start finding practical ways to apply it to your life.  Remember that obeying God's Word is the first step to being a good steward of all that He's given you.   It isn't enough just to know what to do, we need to do it if we want to hear the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant."  

 

 

 

To Learn More About What God Has to Say About Money, Download Our Free E-Book,

"Money Lessons 101"

 

Or Check Out Our Video Series, "Dollars  & Sense" 

 

 

 

 

 

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