Monday, May 4, 2015

Christian Stewardship

When we think of the word stewardship, what comes to mind?
How does adding the word Christian to the word stewardship impact our thoughts on the meaning of the word?

Christian Stewardship is the biblical handling
of our time, our talents and our treasure.

As Christians, our stewardship should be based on the teaching of the Bible, not our culture’s ever changing opinions or whatever the most popular management style is at the moment. How we manage our time, talents and treasure says a lot about what we think is important as followers of Christ.

When thinking of Christian stewardship of our time, we should make sure our regular schedule includes time to study the scriptures (2 Timothy 2:15), pray (2 Thessalonians 5:17) and worship with other believers (Hebrews 10:25).

When thinking of Christian stewardship of our talents, we should use our abilities to do our best (Colossians 3:23), to bring honor to Christ (1 Corinthians 10:21), and to serve others (1 Peter 1:4)

When we fail to be good stewards of our time, talents and treasures, our individual faith suffers and so does the church as a whole.

Most of us tend to agree that we should use our time and talents well, but the area of Christian Stewardship we least like to talk about is how we handle our treasure, meaning our possessions and our money. Most of us do not like it when the church starts talking about money. We have visions of fancy buildings or television preachers who spend millions on elaborate life styles. But the vast majority of pastors live modestly and the typical church building is often quite simple. Though talking about money in church sometimes makes us feel uncomfortable, there are THREE important biblical principles we should know for how Christians should handle our treasure.

First Principle of Christian Financial Stewardship

Our giving should flow out of our love, devotion and gratitude to God, not our of guilt, shame or duty.

Genesis 28:20-22
Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear so that I return safely to my father's house, then the LORD will be my God and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God's house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth."

Jacob made a promise to follow God with his every area of his life, including his money because of his great appreciation for how God was watching over him. He knew God had done a lot for him and his promise to give back to God flowed out of that relationship. Jacob’s vow to give was not motivated by guilt or shame but by thankfulness to God. The same should be true of in our own attitude toward giving.

Second Principle of Christian Financial Stewardship

Trust the Lord enough to give Him the whole tithe and receive God’s blessing as a result.

Malachi 3:10
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.

God promised that if we gave Him the whole tithe, He would bless us abundantly. This makes no sense to the world, but many Christians can give testimony to the truth of it. We can never out give God.

But what is the whole tithe? The whole tithe is a tenth of what God gives us.

Leviticus 27:30
A tithe (tenth) of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD.

Back in the day when most people were farmers, God asked them to give one tenth of all they grew back to the Lord. This was how the priests who provided spiritual leadership and comfort to the people lived.

Deuteronomy 14:24-25
But if that place is too distant and you have been blessed by the LORD your God and cannot carry your tithe…then exchange your tithe for silver, and take the silver with you and go to the place the LORD your God will choose.

God also told them they could give money instead of “stuff” if it was too much stuff to carry. This is how most of us today will give our gifts to God since we most of us are not farmers. We will give money and that is how the pastors and the church will be provided for. It is still okay to give stuff instead of money, so long as it is not junk we are just trying to get rid of. Whatever we give must flow out of a heart of love toward God.

Some people believe that tithing is just an Old Testament thing and that we no longer have to practice it. But Jesus Himself says that tithing is still valid.

Matthew 23:23
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.

Luke 11:42
Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.

What Jesus was referring to in these verses was the practice of the Pharisees to grow small window boxes of exotic herbs. The Pharisees were faithful to tithe on these little boxes of herbs but they failed to show justice, mercy, faithfulness and love. On two different occasions Jesus said they needed both in order to be good Christian stewards! They needed to tithe and have a right attitude. Since Jesus Himself endorsed tithing, we know it is still valid in our spiritual walk. But Jesus also taught that the attitude of our hearts were just as important as our gifts to Him. If we give with a wrong attitude, we should next expect a blessing from God.

What attitudes did He want us to have when we give?


2 Corinthians 9:7
Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.


1 John 3:17-18
If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.


1 Corinthians 4:2, 16:2
Now it is required in stewards that man be found faithful . . . Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store as God has prospered him.


2 Corinthians 9:6
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.

Luke 6:38
Give, and it will be given to you.
A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.


Mark 13:43-44
Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on."

God expects us to be good stewards of our time, talents and treasure. That means following the teachings of the Bible instead of our culture. It also includes handling money in ways that non-Christians might not understand. That includes giving out of love, devotion and gratitude to the Lord. Trusting the Lord enough to give Him the whole tithe, and receive God’s blessing as a result. Making sure when we give our hearts display attitudes of cheerfulness, compassion, faithfulness, generosity, and sacrifice.


Dr. Terry W. Dorsett has served as a pastor, church planter, author and denominational leader in New England since 1993. He is the proud father of three adult children, a cancer survivor and the author of 8 books. You can find all of his books at

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