How do we manage the stewardship of our lives in a collapsing economy and a corrupt culture? The answer is very simple. The same way that we do in a prosperous economy and a repentant culture. The fact is that God’s way of doing things does not change with the indicators. The principles of the Biblical stewardship of our lives are the same in seasons of plenty as they are in seasons of poverty.
That being said, if the economy of our country and our culture is ever going to to turn around, then the hard questions must receive the straight answers. We do not need more dollars, we need more sense. The primary issue in our economy and any economy for that matter is not an issue of wealth it is an issue of wisdom, it is not an issue of money, it is an issue of management. Biblically speaking, real wisdom always comes before real wealth. Wisdom can function with or without wealth. However, wealth will not properly function without right wisdom.
Every person has three economies that they must deal with. They have the economy of their time, the economy of their talents, and the economy of their treasures. All three will be accounted for in the end. Too often when we think of wealth, we only think of it in dollar signs. But to borrow from the late Dr. Rogers, our wealth really is everything that money cannot buy and death cannot take away. That being said, there are some things that need to be said, if anything is going to be straightened in anyone’s life, mine being first.
There is no such thing as ownership, only stewardship. – In the ultimate sense of things, I have nothing. Neither do you. You have no money, you own no possessions, and you can lay no claim to anything on planet earth. Psalm 24:1 – “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof; the world and they that dwell therein.” Psalm 50:12, the Lord said, “the world is mine and the fulness thereof.” The first thing that must be settled in any man’s mind, is the fact that everything belongs to the Lord, we at best are nothing more than managers.
Too many times people want to argue about how much of our wealth belongs to the Lord; ten percent? Fifteen percent? 3 percent? “however much I choose percent?”. Friend write this down in the depths of your soul; One hundred percent belongs to the Lord. And that stretches across every single economy in your life. He owns 100% of your time, – He doesn’t have to take our lives, He can merely stop giving it to us. He owns 100% of your talent. Whether you have a high IQ, or an unimaginable bench press, all of your physical, mental, and social talents, are within the rights of God to give more, or take more. He owns 100% of your treasures. Never get the idea that you can give God 10%, and the rest is yours. None of it is yours, it all belongs to the Lord.
There is no such thing as secular wisdom. – Secular wisdom is an oxymoron. Along with a few other kinds of morons. Someone said once that common sense is what keeps a horse from betting on a track meet. I am not speaking of ordinary common sense, I am speaking of the world’s normal way of thinking. It is not wisdom! Real wisdom only comes from God through Christ Jesus. The Lord is the only One that can show us how to rightly manage our money. I’m going to make a statement, that is going to sound offensive, but it is not intended to be so. However, it is as fundamentally true as yesterday’s sunset. Outside of Jesus Christ, you do not know what you’re doing. You do not know how to live, you do not know how to wisely manage anything. The Bible says in Colossians 2:3 that in him (Jesus) “are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” In fact there are simply too many scriptures to list here that teach us that inside of Jesus alone, there is wisdom; and outside of Jesus, there is none!
Now someone is going to ask, “what about all of those wall street tycoons that couldn’t spell Bible in a third grade contest, but are economically successful ten times the common man?”
Let me ask you this. – Who said they were successful? Furthermore who said they were wise? Failure is succeeding at the wrong thing. Wisdom is not measured in dollar signs. Profits are not proof of true wisdom, anymore than a trained monkey proves planes can fly; they have nothing whatsoever to do with the other. If that were the case, then one could claim that Budweiser, Playboy, and Trump, were full of wisdom and truth.
Wisdom only comes from the Lord; and He’s not just interested in how much we put in the offering plate. His interest in our management extends to every part of our lives. That being the case, He is the one that is to determine all the priorities of how the time of our life is spent, the talents of our lives are spent, and the treasure of our lives are spent. That is why we call Him Lord.
This is just the first in a short series of articles that I am going to post in the coming days and weeks. When I say that Jesus is the only change worth making, I’m not merely stating a tag line. Jesus is the only thing that changes everything. He changes our identity, our destiny, and our journey.
More to come.