In our last couple weeks of reflecting on The Treasure Principle, I figure stewardship is an important topic to address since the principle is referenced so frequently in the New Testament.
Merriam-Webster defines stewardship as “the conducting, supervising, or managing of something or the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.” We know from our previous discussion that work is important to earn money. Then the following questions are asked: “What to do with the money we have earned? How can we responsibly manage the money that God has entrusted to our care?”
Here are a few practical tips to consider:
- Take care of your responsibilities (ie. your needs) –
1 Tim 5:8 reads:
“If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
Create a budget and set financial goals for the future:
“The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty (Prov 21:5).”
Determine where money is already being spent. It might be a good idea to document all spending for the month of April and determine spending habits. Afterwards, identify all financial needs (ex. housing, food, utilities, etc. Note: cable television is not a need). To start, use this information to create a budget with the following goal in mind:
10% towards giving
10% towards emergency savings
80 towards living expenses
Americans cannot continue to wastefully spend every dollar that comes into their homes. The Bible calls that foolish behavior.
“In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has (Prov 21:20).”
- Guard yourself against greed –
When a man approached Jesus and demanded that his brother divide their inheritance, Jesus responded:
“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions (Luke 12:15).”
The way to guard ourselves against greed is to…
- Give generously and with excitement – 2 Corin 8:1-5, 2 Corin 9:6-8…or follow The Treasure Principle
In wrapping up this discussion, I also feel it important to share that the only biblical reference hinting at retirement is in Luke 12:18-21, and it is not a pleasant presentation.
Where does your money go? Do you store up treasures on earth or in Heaven? Are you taking any steps to make financial changes?
© Natasha S. Robinson 2011
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