This week I want to look at proper and improper stewardship. We have all been blessed in something in this life by the Lord and we steward this. Some steward well, while others do not do so good. Today I want to look at why and what causes some to mismanage money.
The reason people mismanage money is as varied as the world is large. Many people do so out of foolishness. While others do so out of thinking that money will just be available to them anytime. They believe that they can get what they want when they want and pay later. This is from a deeper desire within that they are trying to fill with goods rather than with what can fill this desire. This is, of course, Jesus Christ alone. While I think these are a big part of the problem I think the biggest factor is most people do not see their money as God’s.
We see in Scripture quite often that everything is the Lords. It is seen in Exodus 19:5 when God says, “all the earth is mine” and in many other Scriptures throughout the Bible (c.f. 9:29; Deut. 10:14; Job 41:11; Ps. 24:1; 1 Cor. 10:26). Donald Whitney makes a good point on this when he wrote, “we are managers or, to use the biblical word, stewards of the things God gives to us” (Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, 2014, 170).
The fact that many people have a low view of God, a no-view of God, or they see God as nothing more than a deist type of God who has no involvement in the world, is, I believe, the biggest issue with people not managing money, or anything well. To state it simply, they do not see God so they do not worry themselves with God. Then out from this stems the fact that people do not teach their children proper management because of what they believe about God.
They all seek to be as the writer of Ecclesiastes was when he wrote, “whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil” (2:10). But they fail to see that this does nothing for you. As he continues in the next verse, “Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun” (Eccl. 2:11). From this, he goes on and describes that there is nothing you can take with you and that all this gain is for nothing.
So, the people that mismanage money, I believe, do so from a misunderstanding of God, or a no-understanding of God. They want pleasure and toys and all the stuff that makes them look cool, or fill a void within. But they do not manage money right where they can help others or even their own family. They value material items more than being able to provide and care for others.
When we honor God right we will seek to steward our money right. We will do so because we desire to love our God with our heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matt. 22:37-39; c.f. Rom. 13:8-10). When we do manage our money right we honor God right and therefore fulfill the two greatest commandments. To honor God is the best thing we can do, it is certainly of eternal value to do so. So, let us honor God in all we do.