Biblical stewardship advice will keep us debt free. Biblical stewardship helps us understand real wealth. Worldly advice to gain and share material wealth often includes this statement: “be wise and frugal handling finances.” The answer is, “sort of.” The real issue is wisdom’s source. The Ninth Edition of the Concise Oxford Dictionary defines wisdom as “experience and knowledge together with the power of applying them critically or practically.” Surely, feeding mathematical models with trends, other data and practicing thrift may lead to temporary financial gain. However, this happens without God’s peace and joy.
Biblical Stewardship Advice and Real Wealth
What is true wealth? It is free. It comes from Jesus. It’s not material or temporal, but relational. It’s the richness that comes from admitting our helpless state. Our need for Jesus, and then surrendering to His Lordship. True wealth is a personal relationship with Jesus. It’s having continual access to Him.
Material wealth, on the other hand, often comes from devoting our lives to gaining financial and other stuff. This path is an unwise choice that King Solomon describes in Eccelesiastes 2:24-26 as chasing after the wind. It produces ruin. Please understand what I am saying. I am not suggesting that we should not earn money, produce a profit, or save material wealth. Rather, I propose we devote our lives to serving Jesus and let Him direct our actions. If this leads to material wealth, let’s allow Jesus decide how to handle it.
Speaking through the profit Jeremiah, God tells us that knowing God needs to be our priority:
Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, 24but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight…(Jeremiah 9:23-24)
Biblical stewardship advice means knowing God. Biblical stewardship always seeks Jesus for direction. It’s essential followers of Jesus live a life that shows His kindness, justice, and righteousness. Jesus’ followers can live this life. We have the Holy Spirit living in us as Teacher and Guide. He will lead us to put into effect godly wisdom in our daily lives.
Biblical stewardship advice needs Godly Wisdom
Biblical stewardship advice for our financial affairs needs godly wisdom. Biblical stewardship starts with accepting Jesus’ ownership of all funds. It continues with accepting our roles as His stewards. It means placing all funds, available time, and talents under His control, and then asking Him to guide their use.
As Jesus’ managers, our main goal should be to increase funds we use in His Kingdom and reduce funds we use elsewhere. Meanwhile, we must ensure we do not put our hope and identity in material wealth. Instead, we hold money and stuff loosely so we may be free to use them as the Lord directs.
For Christian financial advice, biblical stewardship advice, and advice on personal effectiveness improvement, visit: Managing God’s Money.
© 2012, Michel A. Bell