According to dictionary.com, a steward is a person who acts as the surrogate of another or others, especially by managing property, financial affairs, an estate, etc. As a Christian, viewing my finances as not my own is essential to my philosophy on personal finance. The view is about seeing one’s finances as given by God and that he is entrusting the person to manage it well. This means that not only are we responsible to ourselves and family about how we manage our money, we are ultimately responsible to God.
The Bible gives this warning about money, “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6:10 (NLT). Notice that money itself is not inherently evil, it is the love of money that is the root of all kinds of evil. Money can be used to do incredible amounts of good but it can also do incredible amounts of evil; it all depends on the choice of the person.
I know for myself, the lure of accumulating money and believing the safety and power it can provide can be very enticing. I can see it as a security blanket or my identity. At our most primal human nature, we are driven by fear. Fear can lead us to find our security in things that won’t last. I believe this is why the Bible verse above was written, for our protection and benefit if we heed the warning.
One way to help curb the desire to love money is to give to others, whether it be to the local church, charities, or friends in need. I include giving into my monthly budget so that it helps remind me that my money was provided to me from God and I want to use it to further his kingdom. It is also a great feeling to know that the money is helping change lives. Also, you don’t necessarily need to be wealthy to give. You can give what you can according to your financial circumstance.
Some food for thought:
What would it look like if you started thinking of your money as not your own, that you are a steward of God’s money? How would it change how you spend your money? How would it change how you think about money?