Biblical Stewardship: The Foundation of All Generosity
Generosity is the overflow of the stewardship mindset that says God owns it all and I am only a steward of the resources in my hands, including my life. This truth has far-reaching implications in the way we live our lives and how we use the resources entrusted to us including money, possessions, our work, our business, and everything else we have.
God bestows material blessing to his people so that they can help those who have less in this life. Giving and sharing liberate God’s people from hoarding material things and loving mammon. If we train ourselves to give away our money and resources it will free us from the power of money. This freedom will lead us to depend wholly on God and to trust that He will provide for all our needs.
You do not have to give away all your money and possessions in order to learn this principle. You can start by first, acknowledging that all these belong to God and ask him to guide you to be a wise and faithful steward. Begin by tithing faithfully. God does not need our money, but the practice of tithing helps Christians to give a portion of their income back to God.
Our security will not be on the amount of money we have in the bank but on God who is able to freely supply us far more that we can ever imagine.
As we experience God and his provisions, we grow in our knowledge and intimacy with him. We also grow in giving and generosity.
God modeled generosity for us. He withheld nothing back to freely give us all things, including the gift of His beloved Son who gave His life in order that we may live. How can we not respond with gratitude and surrender to this loving God? Our response today is to give up our love for material things and invest in things that matter to God and for His Kingdom.
One practical step that you can do today is to examine where you spend your money. What percentage of your income go towards maintaining your personal lifestyle? Do you have expensive hobbies, interests, vices? How much goes to giving and Kingdom work?
One exercise that has been helpful to me when I decided to be a better money steward was to record all my income and expenses for three months to determine where my money was spent. It has since become my habit to record my personal income and expenses for the last 30 years. I find it helpful for budgeting and monitoring and finding joy to see how my giving increases through the years.
Giving and generosity is a lifestyle that is not developed overnight. It starts with a grateful heart and a willingness to surrender to the will of God, the owner of life. If you want to read more about the joy and freedom of giving and generosity, a must-read book according to Catalyst Services Best Mission Books of 2015 List is Christ-Centered Generosity: Global Perspectives on the Biblical Call To A Generous Life.