Written by Jared Simmons, Private Wealth Advisor at Ronald Blue Trust
Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” Everything we have has been entrusted to us by God and how we use it defines whether we are faithful stewards or not. Stewardship is a word that we see often, but what does it really mean?
Stewardship simply means that nothing we “own” is ours; it all belongs to the Lord. We are simply given His resources to use during our lifetimes. These resources include our time, treasure, talent, and relationships.
This brings us to a key question…what is considered faithful stewardship? We can look at two examples for guidance.
The ‘Unfaithful Steward’
Many would argue that Jesus’s parable of the Unfaithful Steward in Luke 16 is the most difficult parable to interpret. In it, the Master, a representation of God, appears to commend the unfaithful steward (Luke 16:8) for cheating the Master. What can possibly be learned from a lying, deceitful, unfaithful scoundrel who cheated his own Master?
When the unfaithful steward realized his time as a manager was coming to an end, he immediately started forgiving others’ debts to find favor in their eyes. He became keenly aware of the brevity of his stewardship responsibility and focused on sending wealth ahead; in his case, he needed favor from others for when he was unemployed and no longer able to work. While shrewd, the actions of the unfaithful steward illustrate the importance of a repentant attitude and willingness to concede our pride regarding our position in life.
An Earthly Saint
George Mueller was a preacher born in the kingdom of Prussia in 1805. A rather peculiar man, his sole purpose in life was to live in such a way that would show the children of God, “that He (God) does not forsake, even in hard times, those who rely on Him.” He lived a destitute life, relying on Jesus for his every need to prove God’s Word can be trusted. Throughout his life he consistently pointed to two verses; Matthew 6:33 and Psalm 84:11; “For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
From the time of his conversion in his 20s, George Mueller never took a salary or asked anyone for money, and the Lord never left him hungry. In fact, over the course of his life he read the Bible more than 200 times, built five orphanages, took care of more than 10,000 orphans, and received untold millions of dollars in unsolicited donations in answer to his prayers. He did this because he believed wholeheartedly that God would provide for him, according to his promises, if his will was aligned with God’s. “We have to stand before our Lord and Master as his stewards. Grace of faith is needed to believe that the Lord will give me the necessaries of life, if I first seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness: for there is a promise to that effect [in Matthew 6:33],” he said.
Through these examples, we see that stewardship is faithfulness, and faithfulness is obedience to God. Therefore, faithful stewardship is obeying God by living this life for our future hope of eternity (1 Timothy 6:17-19) and by knowing His Word and living according to it (Joshua 1:8).
Ronald Blue Trust desires to serve you on your stewardship journey and help you become more generous so that you can stand before God and hear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”