Faithful in Little
The concept of stewardship is not much taught these days. It seems to be an embarrassment to preachers, and this is a pity. It is signally important for the spiritual life of the Christian. We will venture a few principles of stewardship:
· Fidelity depends upon your sense of responsibility, not the amount entrusted. Most of us assume that we can be careless with small things and still be "all right" with the large things. But consider: God has entrusted you with a spouse, perhaps. Are the small things trivial in that relationship? Or is the relationship built with small things?
· If you are trustworthy in handling the affairs of others, you can be trusted with your own. God uses this principle frequently. We often think we'd be more careful of our own riches than those of others, but it is not so. Someone is watching as we handle the property of others. If we cannot pass that test, when watched, how can we pass the test of our own riches?
· Money is for this world only—but you are the steward of all you have. How many Christians think they can tithe and then do as they please with the rest! It is not so. If you can't handle all of your money and please God, why would he trust you with something important?
· The principle of stewardship depends upon "right use." In all things over which you have stewardship, you can usually know what to do by asking, "What is the right use of this?" You don't drive nails with a screwdriver. All things have a right use; it is up to us to find it.
· You can be a steward for only one master. If you've ever had to work for more than one boss at a time, this needs no explanation.
Your mother was right: character counts. Money is the least of all true wealth. As the lowest form of riches, it is the most pursued, which is a pity. But if you cannot handle even this form of riches, why would God entrust you with eternal riches? Turn the question around. Has God declined to entrust you with eternal riches—love, joy, peace, for example? Is it because he sees how you handle your money? But if you use money wisely in God's eyes, perhaps he will promote you to more important things.