Small faith = Big rewards

I am constantly amazed at this statistic: "According to the National Endowment for Financial Education, 70% of lottery winners go bankrupt within a few years"

Uhm, sorry?

This astonishing statistic highlights a critical lesson about the importance of stewardship.

Stewardship refers to the responsible management and care of resources entrusted to us. It is not only applicable to financial wealth but also extends to various aspects of our lives, including time, talents, relationships, and the environment. When it comes to money, stewardship involves wisely handling the resources we have been given and making decisions that align with The Kingdom's values and long-term goals.

The word entrusted is so profound - None of what we own here on Earth belongs to us. It belongs to our heavenly Father! God is lending us everything we have today, and I firmly believe he gives us resources based on our ability to manage them.

Mindset Matters

I used to spend years in this strange mindset where I believed that if I constantly prayed for the specific thing I wanted (e.g. I want a Black Porsche 911 2020 model, I want the PlayStation 5 on launch day with these games etc...) that God would somehow see that I knew EXACTLY what I wanted, and so that would qualify me to receive it.

However, upon growing more mature in Christ, one can easily discern that these prayers were deeply rooted in the flesh. Although at one point, I got so good at these prayers, I would add a "Kingdom" twist to them. For example, I would argue with God that the PlayStation would be used for community, where during my intense games of FIFA, I would find the time to evangelize.

That never happened. Not even once. Stomping my opponents at least 5 - 0 was the only thing on my mind.

What I should (and do) pray for now is more discipline over the resources the Lord gives me and the discernment to know how to use them. Once your mindset shifts over to "This is the Lord's" instead of "This is mine", then things start to shift drastically.

The Parable of the Talents

This story is a classic. You can read the full story from Matthew 25:14, but in summary. A master went away and gave three servants a task to look after some of his wealth while he was away. One servant got 5 bags of gold, another, 2, and the other 1 bag of gold.

Financial growth
Photo by Rifath @photoripey / Unsplash

The first lesson we can immediately learn is to avoid the trap of comparison. It is easy to fall into the mindset of envy and believe that God has favored others with greater resources or opportunities. However, the parable teaches us that our focus should not be on comparing ourselves to others, but rather on faithfully and diligently stewarding what we have been given.

We continue reading and the master returns to see how the servants have done. The servant with 5 bags of gold made a 100% return, and the servant with 2 bags also made a 100% return, but the last servant dug a hole and stuck his gold into the ground. He made a 0% return. The master then proceeds to remove the servant and orders all his gold to be given to the first servant.

The parable emphasizes the importance of taking action and making the most of the resources at our disposal. The first two servants in the story invested their talents and doubled their initial amounts, demonstrating initiative, wise decision-making, and a proactive approach to stewardship. On the other hand, the third servant buried his talent out of fear and missed the opportunity for growth and multiplication.

Ultimately, the master's response to the servants' actions reinforces the rewards and blessings that come from faithful stewardship. The first two servants, who utilized their talents wisely, were commended and entrusted with even more. In contrast, the servant who neglected his responsibility faced the consequences of his inaction.

As believers, we are called to emulate the faithful and fruitful servants in the parable. We are urged to identify and develop our unique gifts, invest them wisely, and use them for God's purposes. By doing so, we can experience the joy of seeing our efforts bear fruit, impacting the lives of others, and ultimately bringing glory to God.

How Do We Achieve This Level of Stewardship?

Here are some thoughts on how to steward your resources in the Kingdom:

  1. Seek First the Kingdom of God

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)

Make sure you are thankful to God for what he has given you. Ask Him how you can glorify His name with His resources. King Soloman sets a fantastic example. In the teaching written in 1 Kings 3:3-15, he sacrifices 1000 bulls to the Lord, when the requirement from the Law was only one bull. The Lord proceeds to visit Soloman in a dream, telling him to ask for anything he desires. Soloman then asks for wisdom. The Lord is pleased with this and then proceeds to bless him anyway with lots of wealth.

Having wisdom from God and seeking His counsel, will always bear fruit in your resources.

2. Practice Kingdom Spending, Often

The amazing thing about our God is that he gave us the ability to choose to obey Him. You can seek Him out, and he may be telling you to bless somebody today, but you can say no. The objective is to sow frequently into His kingdom, through constantly seeking him out, and then obeying what He says.

Kingdom spending can look like a few things, for example:

  • Buying groceries for someone in need.
  • Giving up your time to volunteer.
  • Donating to a worthy cause.

Tithing is something a lot of Christians do, but if you haven't already, I encourage you to read or listen to our previous episodes, where we dedicate a whole chunk of time to seeing if Tithing is actually applicable in today's world:

3. Educate Yourself

Love to Learn | Instagram: @timmossholder
Photo by Tim Mossholder / Unsplash

YouTube is the only financial coach you need. With literally MILLIONS of videos, it is quite easy to get financially literate. The basics include budgeting and investing and apply these principles to your own finances.

4. Don't forget - True riches are relationships, not money

Having money can bring you joy, but true joy and happiness come from relationships. The Lord gives us a verse from His Word to illustrate this point in Mark 8:36:

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Never let money corrupt your vision or the relationships you have with people.

In Conclusion

So, what can we learn from these unfortunate stories of financial downfall? It's clear that simply acquiring wealth does not automatically guarantee financial security and prosperity. Instead, it is the responsible stewardship of God's resources that allows us to make the most of what we have and ensure a sustainable and prosperous future.

By applying some key principles, such as seeking His word and sowing into His kingdom often, the Lord can then entrust us with more management, ultimately leading to life with true riches, filled with rich and loving relationships as well as additional resources such as money.