As we are about to celebrate Christmas, there are a lot of lessons we can learn in the Bible concerning life and finances. In this time of great financial difficulty, as much as we are faced with a mountain of debt to pay, lets take a few minutes to remember that the festive season is about sharing and NOT about ‘what present you receive or give to another person.’ The fact that you are alive today and healthy is enough to give thanks and praise, even though this year there will be few or no presents at all, appreciate each other as a family. Now as I mentioned earlier, the Bible is not all about spirituality, it also contains important lessons on how to go about our finances, for example, a debtor will always be a slave of the creditor (I’m thinking US and China). The following article by Paul Meyer contains 8 important stewardship qualities that will lead to financial success.
Of the many important stewardship qualities, I believe there are certain foundational pillars that bring strength, wealth, balance, and permanence to individuals who recognize their role is that of a steward
Pillar #1: Pay God first with the tithe. Tithing (giving God back 10%) is an integral part of stewardship because it accomplishes three primary objectives:
- It says who is Lord of your life
- It requires you to walk by faith
- It allows God to bless you
Pillar #2: Keep commitments even when it hurts. Scripture says, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38). Even if you are in a financially difficult situation, it is vital to keep your commitments – and trust that God will keep His promise to provide for you.
Pillar #3: Be financially responsible. Each of us is financially responsible for what we have control over. This means at the very least that God expects interest on what He gives us. I believe that God desires, for our sake and His, that we multiply whatever it is He entrusts to us.
Pillar #4: Give nonstop. A giver will always give, regardless of how much or how little he or she might have. That is because giving, at its core, is an attitude of the heart. But no matter how much you give, God will never allow you to give Him more than He gives back to you – never!
Pillar #5: Use all that you have. Most of the time God gives seemingly small opportunities – then we take it from there. We have to make the best of what life presents – taking control of our lives, refusing to give up, and taking opportunities that come our way.
Pillar #6: Train others as stewards. Stewards multiply themselves by training other people to be good stewards. It is a gift that will continue to multiply for generations!
Pillar #7: Obey and trust God. When we give our obedience and trust to God, the doors of blessing open wide, so much so that we will not be able to contain it all. God always does “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20).
Pillar #8: Always seek to improve. Learning from others in the area of stewardship and finances is an absolute must. Always consider yourself a student.
When you base your stewardship on what Scripture has to say about money and build a foundation with these eight pillars, you will find the success and joy God intends for you!