Stewardship is the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care (www.merriam-webster.com)
What does the Bible say about stewardship?
“The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it; the world, and those who live in it” (Ps 24:1).
“Use whatever gift you’ve received for the good of one another so that you can show yourselves to be good stewards of God’s grace in all its varieties” (1 Peter 4:10).
We are not owners: everything we are and everything we have belongs to God
Good stewardship consists of using whatever gift we have received for the good of one another.
How have you experienced God’s grace? What gifts have you received? How have you used them for the good of others?
What does the Bible say about the stewardship of money?
(adapted from Mark Allan Powell, Giving to God)
1. We are to acquire our money in ways faithful to our calling to be people of God:
worthwhile labor (1 Thessalonians 3:10-12)
honest business dealings (Lev 19:35-26; Deut 25:13-15; Amos 8:5-6; Luke 3:13-14)
without creating hardships for others (Lev 25: 35-37; Luke 20:47; James 5:1-6)
never as an end in itself (Isaiah 5:8; Luke 12:16-21)
2. We are to regard our money in ways faithful to our identity as children of God:
with gratitude (Deuteronomy 8:10; Matthew 7:11)
not entitlement (Deuteronomy 18:12-14, 17-18)
something to be used not loved or served (1 Timothy 6:10; Matthew 6:24)
without envy or coveting (Exodus 20:17; Matthew 20:1-15)
3. We are to manage our money in ways faithful to our calling to be people of God:
don’t hoard it (Luke 12:15-21; Psalm 49:1-7; 1 Timothy 6:7)
don’t squander it (Luke 15:12-16)
avoid unnecessary debt (Romans 13:8)
This is where having a plan — a budget — is very helpful.
4. We are to spend our money in ways faithful to our calling to be people of God:
gift of discernment (Romans 12:2; James 1:5)
This enables us to determine what is truly worthwhile and what is not for us and our family at a particular
time and place.
5. As people of God we are called to give back a tithe (10%) of all our material blessings as:
- an act of worship, i.e. praise and thanksgiving to God for what we have received
- an expression of faith and trust in God’s providing
- a practice that promotes spiritual growth and maturity
(Genesis 28:18-22; Leviticus 27:30-33; Numbers 18:20-32; Deuteronomy 12:11, 14:22-29; 26:12; Nehemiah 10:32-39; Matthew 23:23; Luke 11:42, 18:9-14; Didache 13)
The tithe is to be given to the Temple/church to provide financial support for:
- priests and ministers who serve God’s people (1 Corinthians 9:14)
- orphans, widows, resident aliens and others in need (Exod 22:22-23; Lev 23:22; James 1:27; 2:15-16)
- other faith communities experiencing financial distress (Acts 11:29-30)
- mission and evangelism locally and globally (Matthew 10:9-15)
- building and maintaining places of worship, prayer and study (Matthew17:24-27; Luke 7:4-5)