Whoever can be trusted with small things can also be trusted with big things. Whoever is dishonest in little things will be dishonest in big things too. If you cannot be trusted with worldly riches, you will not be trusted with the true riches. And if you cannot be trusted with the things that belong to someone else, you will not be given anything of your own. Luke 16:10-12 (ERV)
Take a moment to consider this question: What do you have that wasn’t given to you?
We use words like “earn” and “create” to maintain the illusion that we alone are responsible for everything that we have. However, if these things were really ours, then we couldn’t lose them, could we?
Sure, we work for our money, but then someone else has to give it to us. Then either we give it away to someone else by spending it, or we hold onto it forever and die, at which point we don’t take it with us. There’s a reason you don’t see hearses towing U-hauls!
So if it’s not really “our” money, then whose is it? King David answered that question emphatically after taking the offering to build the temple in Jerusalem:
To you, Lord, belong greatness and power,
honor, splendor, and majesty,
because everything in heaven and on earth belongs to you.
Yours, Lord, is the kingship,
and you are honored as head of all.
You are the source of wealth and honor,
and you rule over all.
In your hand are strength and might,
and it is in your power to magnify and strengthen all.
(1 Chronicles 29:11-12 CEB)
Everything in heaven and earth (yes, even the money) belong to God. Therefore, we don’t really “own” anything. Rather, we are stewards of everything currently in our possession.
Simply put, a steward is someone who is placed in charge of someone else’s stuff. The principle at work here is that at some point, the steward will have to give account of how he or she has managed the property belonging to the Master. A steward that proves faithful is rewarded, but those who aren’t . . . not so much.
You see, how we handle money is an indicator of how we will steward all of the other blessings in our life. Money is just the easiest one to track. So how do you track this in your own life?
The best way to gauge that for yourself is to figure out who it is that you really serve. Are you putting your trust in the provider or the provision? As Jesus said in the verse that comes right after the passage at the top of this post:
You cannot serve two masters at the same time. You will hate one master and love the other. Or you will be loyal to one and not care about the other. You cannot serve God and Money at the same time. (Luke 16:13 ERV)
If you are primarily interested in serving God by stewarding HIS wealth, then your needs will always be met.
However, if your hope is in the money itself, then you are setting yourself up for disappointment.
(Come back for Part 2—Another Day Older and Deeper in Debt)