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Biblical Stewardship FAQs
Find answers to frequently asked questions below.
Additional FAQs will be added as our series, God's Money: Seven Diagnostics for Biblical Stewardship,
1. Why are we spending so much time talking about finances in church?
2. What is a steward?
3. What if we're running out of money before the end of the month?
4. What are some of the major budget breakers to watch for?
5. Is there an amount that is "too much" for Christians to have and use for living expenses?
6. Where can I learn more about what the Bible has to say about work?
How we handle money is a gauge that indicates what we prioritize in life (Matthew 6:21). Money holds a unique influence that can be channeled into great blessing or a force that leads us away from God or even replaces Him in our lives (Matthew 6:24). This is evidenced by the hundreds of verses of Scripture that discuss and direct the getting, giving, saving, and spending of money. It is also evidenced by our experience as a church—blessing in the lives of individuals and families that have aligned themselves with biblical teaching on finances, and the path of destruction left by those who have taken a divergent path that led to financial turmoil and relational breakdown. It is our hope and prayer that this teaching will instruct, challenge, and encourage you to embrace and live out the timeless financial principles of Scripture, and experience the blessing of the Lord in this important area of our lives.
A steward is a manager who handles finances for someone else and who is held accountable for properly carrying out the owner’s wishes. Scripture teaches that God is the owner of everything (1 Chronicles 29:11-2; Psalm 24:1-2), we are His stewards (Psalm 8:4-6), and we will be held accountable for how we handle all that He entrusts to us (Matthew 25:14-30).
There are two possibilities. Either you don't have realistic amounts allocated for expenses and need to increase them or you have set realistic amounts and just aren't controlling them. In either case, you need to track the details for a while to see exactly where your money is going, so you can either adjust the funds allocated or cut back on your spending.
Budget breakers are generally found among discretionary budget items. These items are primarily gifts, clothing, vacation, house furnishings, miscellaneous cash, and allowance. It's interesting to note that the non-discretionary items (fixed expenses such as utilities, mortgage, and gas for vehicles) very seldom are culprits. It's also interesting that most expenses in the budget are fixed. So the key to avoiding budget breakers is to control the half dozen or so unfixed expenses that tend to blow the budget. (Of course, if your fixed expenses are too high, perhaps you're in a house that is too much for your income or have car payments you can't handle, then they will contribute to your budget problems.)
As with many areas of the Christian life, it would be much easier if there were definitive answers. Then we could say that with a set amount of income, a person should only spend X amount for living expenses. But here is no such answer. God allows us a large area of freedom in the lifestyle area. He gives us these definitive boundaries: spend less than you make, give to the Lord, and pay your taxes. Once we do these things, the amount left over is ours to do with as the Lord leads. Maybe we should give more. Maybe we should increase our standard of living. This matter is between the Lord and you. As long as you seek His direction and wisdom and are tuned in to His desires, you're free in this area.
After listening to the message “Money: Earn it Honestly,”
discussing the pulpit curriculum
, and completing the diagnostic
, we recommend a study of key Scriptures regarding work and honest gain:
Proverbs 6:6-11; 12:11; 13:4-5; 14:4; 15:6; 22:16
1 Thessalonians 4:11-2
2 Thessalonians 3:8-12
Proverbs 11:18; 15:27; 16:8; 21:5-6; 22:16
In addition, we recommend the book God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life
by Gene Edward Veith, Jr. which presents a solid theology of work.
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Some material excerpted with permission from "8 Important Money Decisions for Every Couple," by Russ Crosson.