We think that we own all the stuff we have. That is a hoax. I am not talking about how the bank owns most of the big-ticket items we have—houses, cars, boats, appliances, etc.
Here is the kicker. Even if you don’t owe anyone for anything that you have, you are still not the rightful owner.
I know that doesn’t sit well with anyone, including myself. Especially us Americans think that not only do we own all of our stuff, but we also own our life. We decide how we will spend our money and time.
However, we have gradually gotten way off base. Listen to this:
From the beginning of time God didn’t turn ownership over to Adam. He gave him instructions on how to manage and steward what God owned.
I don’t recall that God has given anyone else ownership over His creation. That means that still today God owns everything. Anything that we have has been given to us by God.
It doesn’t matter if you believe in Him or not. It is still true that God owns everything.
Being that this is true, how does that change the way you think of your possessions, time and money?
Even your relationships were given to you by God. Yep that wonderful spouse (I hope you think they are wonderful.) Those amazing kids you have that always listen, respect and obey you. God also gave you those little dudes that want to rule your household.
So how does one steward well what God has given him?
First thing might surprise you—Understand how rich you are.
If you have more than what you need to live each day, then you are rich in “this present world”.
Second thing-Be ready to share.
The phrase, “ready to share” is a practical instruction for how we can steward what God has “richly supplied us with”.
Seriously, I am constantly teaching my three-year-old son how to share his toys. This is a perfect example. The toys don’t belong to my son. I bought them or someone else gave them to him. He is rich in toys! I expect him to share.
Third thing—Keep an eternal kingdom mentality.
“storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.”
If you believe that there is eternal life found in Jesus Christ, then apply this verse to how you steward what God has given you. Many verses speak to this. We recite them with our mouths, but many of us turn a deaf ear towards what they are telling us to do.
We act as if it all belongs to us. It doesn’t belong to anyone of us.
Fourth and last thing (for now)—Ask God how he wants you to manage His wealth that He has given you.
What do most of us do the first thing after we get a financial windfall? I am talking about an inheritance check, a year-end bonus or an unexpected gift. We start making a list of what we are going to do with it. The religious among us probably give 10% to the church, then they make their list.
Whoa! Slow down a minute and remember this. 100% of that belongs to God. Bring Him into the discussion and ask Him what He wants you to do with it.
He might have given it to you because He is aware of an impending need in your future. Or, He might be preparing the way for you to help out someone else in need. Pretty good idea to talk to Him about it before making that list.
How does this shift in thinking change the way you approach the money, things, and relationships in your life?