As we read in 1 Corinthians 4:2, we are called to prove faithful with the resources we’ve been provided by God.
“Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” 1 Corinthians 4:2 (NIV)
Obvious examples of financial stewardship are spending wisely, giving generously, saving consistently, etc.
We might use a budget to plan spending decisions. Giving is often discussed in the context of tithing or giving towards the work of God’s kingdom. Saving is simply wise planning for future expenses or building wealth.
There are other examples of financial stewardship you might not think about. These areas can be just as important and when looked at closely, are still associated with proving faithful with God’s resources.
Here are a few to consider:
1. Management of our neighbor’s resources – When we borrow something from neighbors or friends, we should always take good care of it, keeping in mind it also belongs to God. Have you ever loaned something, but never got it back, or it was returned damaged because of a lack of care? Taking good care of others’ resources is an opportunity to set an example of financial stewardship others can also follow.
2. Use of company resources – If you work for a company, you’ve likely been entrusted to care for resources to perform your work. Your company expects you to manage those resources well and not be wasteful. Common examples that come to mind include office supplies, computers you may have been given to perform your job and mobile phones. I’ve always been told to manage company resources like they were my own. Most companies desire this type of stewardship from their employees and fulfilling that responsibility is certainly pleasing to God.
3. Taking care of our possessions – Once we’ve spent money and have a possession, we now have the responsibility to manage it well. Often we see children not take care of their toys. This is always a teaching opportunity for parents, but we can learn from it too.
Taking care of our cars is one of the best examples I can think of and one that can be easily neglected. Keeping the inside of our car clean, making sure it has the oil changed on schedule and keeping it washed are all good examples of managing this resource wisely. Taking good care of our cars will also help prolong its use.
Another good example is in taking care of our homes. This includes keeping it clean, making repairs and so on. We should give praise to God for the honor we have to care for our homes.
As an aside, cars and homes are the most expensive part of the budget. We need to make sure we take care of them and prolong their use as much as possible.
4. Performing work – Earning is another important area of financial stewardship. It’s so easy for us to take our jobs for granted. Think back about how most of us felt when we accepted our first job. We were excited about the position and planned to give everything we could to work hard and do well. It’s common to take our jobs for granted over time. Perhaps we show up late, or don’t give 100% when at work. If we work for someone else, or even perhaps ourselves, it’s important to remember a job and the ability to earn is a blessing from God. We should manage our jobs wisely so that we can be blessed further through them as well as set examples for others.
5. Helping others – Related to giving, helping others can be an example of stewardship in using our talents wisely. We’re all blessed with certain skills and abilities. Why not take our knowledge or skills and apply them to helping others? We certainly don’t have to become experts to do so. As an example, we might volunteer at our churches to mentor young couples just getting married, or help with coordinating projects. There are a lot of ways to help if we remain open and listen to God’s direction.
We certainly have a responsibility to manage our wallets wisely, but stewardship goes much further in the use of our talents and taking care of others’ possessions as well as our own.
What do you think of these examples stewardship?