Christian financial management is an act of stewardship.
A steward is one who manages something on behalf of someone else. All we have belongs to God. He is the owner of everything, and our responsibility is to oversee and manage all we have received.
7 Important Stewardship Lessons
1. We are not the owners.
Joseph was a steward in Potiphar’s household. He was put in charge of caring for his master’s possessions and his master’s household.
I sometime confuse myself because I’ll write my name on books and other items I own. This habit is a little misleading because everything I own – everything you own – is the property of God and he has given us the job of stewards.
2. We act on behalf of the Master.
A steward doesn’t get to buy what he wishes with the money of another. He makes executive spending decisions that he believes to be in line with the will and wishes of the owner.
In a similar way, we must not protect our own self-interest while managing God’s money. Instead, we seek to use it in a way that is in line with his will and wishes for his property. Of course, we best discover his will and wishes through the Bible.
3. The key quality of a steward is trust.
If someone is going to ask us to oversee his estate, then surely he must trust us. With trust always comes expectation. To be trusted with something is the greatest of blessings and the greatest of burdens. We must do what is trustworthy and honorable with what we have received.
4. We are entrusted with different amounts.
As stewards, we should rid ourselves from either jealousy or a judgmental heart. We are not asked to analyze and criticize what other stewards are doing. Instead, we simply look at what we’ve been entrusted with and ask how we can bring the most glory to God with what he’s given to us. There is a danger spending too much time concerned with the speck in our brother’s eye, while we have a plank in our own eye.
5. We must anticipate an evaluation of our performance.
When a master puts a steward in charge of his possessions, the steward should expect to be evaluated based on his performance. His performance is not one that earns the respect of the master. Instead, his performance is a recognition of the sovereignty and greatness of the master. Life is lived in response to the great blessings the steward has received. His evaluation will be based on what was first entrusted to his steward and based on the current results.
A steward always anticipates the question: “Were you faithful with what was entrusted to you?”
6. Stewardship involves much more than money.
We’re stewards of all we have – gifts, environment, education, experience, and so on. We are who we are because of what we’ve been given by God. Are we using it – all of it – for his praise, honor, and glory?
7. Good stewardship may require training.
It’s rare for a person to instinctively know how to best manage all the resources of a master. There will be lessons to learn and habits to change. If I don’t know how to budget, then learning about budgeting would be an act of good stewardship. If I don’t know anything about investing, then learning how to invest would be an act of good stewardship.
Good stewardship may require good education.
If we seek to live for the praise and honor of God, we’ll frequently remind ourselves of our proper role as God’s stewards and servants.
What does stewardship mean to you? What have you been entrusted with? Leave a comment!