Summary: We have the tremendous privilege—and responsibility—of being stewards (or managers) of God’s possessions. As good stewards, we need to be trustworthy and work hard. Before spending God’s money, we should prayerfully consider how God would want us to spend it.

Summary: Bible study — We are stewards of God’s possessions. We must be faithful stewards.

Doug Britton Books

Practical • Biblical • Cross-Cultural

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See Yourself as God’s Steward (or Assistant)

Take Care of God’s Possessions and Money

Doug Britton, MFT

Man using calculator as he decides how to be a good steward of God's money

Every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. (Psalm 50:10)

Introduction to being a steward

This online Bible study is the second in a series of studies on money, finances, and possessions. More detailed information on these topics can be found in the book Putting Money in its Place. (This book, although written for married couples, has much information that also helps singles handle their finances.)

In the first study in this series, Acknowledge that God Owns Everything, we learned that it is God who owns “our” possessions. Once we grasp this fact, we look at our possessions and finances very differently.

 

Realize that you are a steward

You are a steward, or manager, to whom God has entrusted a portion of his riches. You have the privilege—and responsibility—of taking care of his property and spending his money in ways that please him.

Recognizing that you are a steward can change your outlook in many ways. Instead of asking, “What do I want to buy?” ask, “Lord, how do you want me to use your resources?”

Does the knowledge that you are a steward and don’t actually own anything make you feel sad or insignificant? It shouldn’t. God created you and loves you so much that he entrusted some of his riches to your care. Looking at your finances this way can be an exciting journey.

God provides for your enjoyment. The fact that you are a steward doesn’t mean that it’s wrong to enjoy yourself. Our main goal in life should be to love God and others, not to satisfy our own desires. Yet God loves us and as a father gives us gifts to enjoy.

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. (1 Timothy 6:17)

Related: Acknowledge that God Owns Everything

 

You will give an account to the Lord

In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus taught the parable of the talents. In this story, a man gave each of his three servants varying amounts of money to take care of while he was on a trip.

When he returned, two of the servants reported that they used the money wisely and earned more money. The master rewarded them for their faithful service.

The third servant, however, said he buried his money. He did not make a profit or earn any interest. He was severely punished.

Throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 25:30)

Jesus taught this parable about money to illustrate a spiritual truth, not to give a lesson in financial management. Yet by using this illustration, he also let us know we are to use his possessions in a trustworthy way. We will give an account to God about our stewardship.

So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own? (Luke 16:11-12)

Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. (1 Corinthians 4:2)

 

Work diligently

Several years ago, I came across a man who was tired of working for a living. He quit his job and said he was trusting God to provide for all his needs.

How did he do that? He parked his van in the church parking lot and waited for God to send people his way with groceries! He thought trusting God meant to simply exist and wait for the Lord to provide—using other people.

He had the wrong idea about work. Work is part of God’’s purpose for us. God called Adam, the first human, to be a gardener (Genesis 2:15). The Bible tells us to work hard.

All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. (Proverbs 14:23)

Work is a blessing. It enables us to provide for ourselves, our relatives and serve God. When we work diligently, we are good stewards. We also are a positive example of Christianity to those around us.

When we are lazy, we are a bad example and hurt the cause of Christ.

Work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12)

Whether you work for someone else, own a business or are a homemaker, throw yourself into your work and do the best you can. Learn how to do your job better. Take advantage of training opportunities. Seek wisdom. God will help you prosper (Proverbs 3:16 and 8:18).

Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth. (Proverbs 10:4)

One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys. (Proverbs 18:9)

If a man will not work, he shall not eat. (2 Thessalonians 3:10)

 

Be trustworthy

The most important “ethical” guideline for many people is, “If you don’t get caught, it’’s okay.” The second is, “If you get caught, deny it.”

God looks at things differently. He wants us to be people of integrity. Even if no one else catches us being dishonest, the Lord knows what we do.

The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out. (Proverbs 10:9)

 

Digging deeper

To learn more about how to apply the Bible’s truths about finances, check out the book Putting Money in its Place. It covers financial principles and planning in detail, including tithing, borrowing, budgeting, investing, spending wisely, and many other practical topics. It includes a chapter for married couples on how to make financial decisions as a team. (The practical truths in this book also apply to single men and women.)

 

Personal Application

Do you usually think of yourself as a steward (or manager) of God’’s money? Yes ___ No ___

Make a list of five of “your” resources such as a car or savings account. Then read over the list and ask, “Lord, how do you want me to use these resources?” Write any ideas that come to you about different ways you could use them:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Write a prayer acknowledging that all you own is God’’s and committing yourself to be a wise steward:

Next: Give generously

Improving Your Teamwork

Understanding what the Bible says about making decisions

Putting Money in its Place

Bible-based steps to get your finances under control

First Things First

Learning about God's nature, becoming a disciple

Defeating Temptation

Bible-based steps to take when you are tempted

In the Bookstore

Improving Your Teamwork

12.99

Making decisions as a team

Putting Money in its Place

12.99

God’s plan for your finances

First Things First

12.99

Understanding God’s nature

Defeating Temptation

13.99

Overcoming sin in your life

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Copyright © 2006, 2016 Doug Britton. (Permission granted to print for personal use.)

Unless otherwise noted, all Bible verses are from the 1984 New International Version.

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