Biblical Stewardship: The Truth About Money
Biblical stewardship requires that a Christian view money differently from the way the secular world views it. The secular world equates affluence with success and happiness. Therefore, society constantly struggles to acquire as much wealth as possible. The Bible, however, exposes the worthlessness of such a struggle by revealing the truth about money. The Psalms proclaim, "But man, despite his riches, does not endure; he is like the beasts that perish" (Psalm 49:12). No matter how much one struggles for wealth, death still awaits because money cannot add anything to one's life.
One could argue that, although money does not keep death away, it is still worth pursuing because it brings happiness and satisfaction in life. Solomon, a wise and rich man, argues, "Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them….the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep" (Ecclesiastes 5:10-12). Money is meaningless. It can never satisfy those who love it and, instead, offers frivolous goods and anxiety. The struggle for wealth brings with it dissatisfaction, not a better life.
Biblical Stewardship: That Which is of True Value
Biblical stewardship does not require that a Christian despise money or to discontinue earning it. Money is a necessity for basic living. The Bible does warn, however, that the love of money creates evil (1 Timothy 6:10). It is important not to allow money to become the center of one's life. When money is not the object of one's love and devotion, one is free to focus on higher things.
Good stewardship encourages a Christian to find true value in life. If money does not offer much to life, what does? The Bible states, "Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf" (Proverbs 11:28). The righteous, not the rich, thrive. But how do the righteous thrive without riches? They thrive because they understand and possess what holds a higher value.
The righteous have character. Proverbs 22:1 states, "A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold." A pure reputation should be one's goal in life rather than the accumulation of wealth. Character lasts. Money cannot.
Believing in God offers the righteous a lifetime of wealth (Romans 11:33). Knowing God and understanding his love are the true eternal riches. The author of Hebrews writes, "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5). Money does not love and it does not linger. It is God who stands by and blesses his children in immeasurable amounts-this promise, not money, truly satisfies.
Biblical Stewardship: It's About Heart
Biblical stewardship calls a Christian to give back to God through tithing. The word "tithe" merely means "a tenth." A Christian, therefore, ought to set aside a tenth of his or her income for God.
For God, tithing is not only about a percentage. Tithing has more to do with one's heart during the act of giving then the actual amount given to God. The Bible offers this story: "As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 'I tell you the truth,' he said, 'this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out her poverty put in all she had to live on'" (Luke 21:1-4). The woman gave two copper coins-what amounted to a fraction of a penny. This seems a trivial amount. However, God viewed her trivial amount with more regard than the large offerings of the rich. Why? By giving all she had, the woman showed utter devotion to God. She was willing to offer everything she possessed to show love to God.
Biblical stewardship is a giving out of devotion rather than duty. It's about the heart of the giver-the Christian willing to give out of poverty, not wealth.
Biblical Stewardship: Giving to Others and Making a Stand
Biblical stewardship provides help for the less fortunate. The Bible states, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world" (James 1:27). Giving does not end with tithing. God asks that the giving heart be extended to those who need it most-widows, orphans, and the poor. As a Christian, one must reach out to those in need, sharing the blessings one has received from God. Even after understanding that money does not satisfy, a Christian may find it difficult to let go of more money by giving to those in need. However, the Bible promises, "A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor" (Proverbs 22:9). The generous person -- the one with the heart of a giver -- finds blessings in giving. When one offers money to others, one receives wealth in many other ways. As a Christian it is time to make a stand for God. Matthew 6:24 states, "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."
Between God and money, which will you choose to love?
What is your response?
Yes, today I am deciding to follow Jesus
Yes, I am already a follower of Jesus
I still have questions