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Stewardship: Three Truths To Guide Our Financial Lives
The Bible has a great deal to say about our financial lives. In fact, more than 2,000 Scripture passages address the theme of money and Jesus spoke about our use of financial resources frequently. One of their central messages is that there is a connection between our relationship to money and possessions and our relationship to God. There are three truths that lay the foundation for how we approach this area of discipleship called stewardship:
God created everything.
God owns everything.
As disciples of Jesus, we are not owners of our stuff, but trustees.
God entrusted us with financial and physical resources to meet our needs and to help carry out his redemptive work in the world. Once we are able to offer God control of our finances, we can offer God our entire lives, and experience the spiritual freedom and joy that God intends for us. The New Testament describes it in Matthew 25:14-30 and II Corinthians 8:9.
Stewardship – to serve as one who manages another’s property, finances, or other affairs – is not just means for the church to raise money. It is a way of life that recognizes that everything we have is God’s, and we are simply managing those resources while here on earth.
The Bible is filled with examples of grateful response to God’s generous gifts. The Bible also teaches about responsibility to share with others and warns against selfishness and misuse of God’s economic resources.
Methodist approach to stewardship
John Wesley urged those in connection with him to “Earn all you can and save all you can, so that you can give all you can.” He modeled modest living and sacrificial giving. Wesley made sure those early classes of “Methodists” took weekly offerings for outreach.
Today, we United Methodists join others to help all of God’s children, whenever and wherever we can. Through our congregation, we are the heart, spirit and hands of God’s outreaching love.
Practicing good stewardship
How can you learn and practice good Christian stewardship?
- Pray about your giving to God’s ministries.
- Model the humility and generosity God calls you to exhibit.
- Take a Financial Peace University course.
- Set up a schedule to eventually reach full tithing, or tithe one week of every month.
- Give your time, talents and or financial aid to Missions.