This post was originally posted on ChristianStewardshipCoaching.com May 13, 2015.
So I saw two things the other day.
One a quote from Laura Ingalls Wilder.
The trouble with organizing a thing is that pretty soon folks get to paying more attention to the organization than to what they're organized for. ~Laura Ingalls Wilder
The other a part of a post from Seth Godin.
At the congregation down the street, they're doing things the way they've done them for the last few hundred years. Every week, people come, attracted by familiarity, by the family and friends around them, part of a tribe.
And just past that building is another one, a different tribe, where the tradition is more than a thousand years old.
The question each of us has to answer about the institution we care about is: Does this place exist to maintain and perpetuate the status quo, or am I here to do the work that the radical founder had in mind when we started?
It got me to thinking. Jesus was a radical. In that, Seth has it right. The problem with organizations is often they is they often become self-perpetuating and self-serving rather than focused on serving others. So Laura had it right too.
So what does this have to do with Stewardship? Well in my mind the whole reason that we work to get ourselves financially free and debt free is to be able to practice radical generosity.
It isn't about ourselves and our financial strength.
It's about being able to help others.
To serve others.
Think about it Jesus says to the rich young man in Luke 18:22-23
"If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property.
So does this mean we should all give everything we own away to the poor? Actually no. It can't mean that. Not because we should want to keep money or property.
We own nothing.
The truth is that God owns it all. We are just managers, caretakers, a steward of all that is entrusted to us.
That's the attitude that you have to have. Jesus says in Luke 12:34 that:
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Think about it, it doesn't say that your treasure follows your heart it says that your heart follows your treasure.
That's what it means your heart goes where you put your money, time, and talents. If you invest into things those things have your heart. But if you recognize that God owns your things then God has your heart.
There are two main reasons people store up money.
- To sit back and enjoy life.
- To find security for the future.
But a Christian doesn't find joy in things. Instead, we find life in serving Christ.
And security? Well, our security is found in the Grace of God not the quantity of stuff or money we have.
So why then do I work to teach others how to be financially secure? Why do I work to have money if money isn't important?
Because money is important.
Not for what it gets us.
Not so, we can squander it.
Not so, we can find security in it.
No, it is important for the way it allows us to serve others and bring about a small step towards bringing about the Kingdom of God here on Earth.