Becoming a Financial Steward 1: New Years Resolution or Setting a Firm Foundation?

If you’re anything like me, you spent most of the months of November and December preparing for...drum roll, please...December 25th.  The family text chains, the friend’s text chains, the photo cards, the parties, the food, the gift lists, the kids’ lists, the extended family gifts, the gifts you didn’t even know you needed to get - oh, and don’t forget the work Secret Santas, the teachers, the bus driver, neighbors, and everyone else in-between.

Before we know it, it’s January 1st, and the holidays are officially over. Maybe you spent a few minutes writing down what your personal goals or resolutions are for the new year, and then, violà, last year is gone - and may have taken a lot of mismanaged spending with it.

A recent article by Kari Paul in Market Watch revealed that “44% of American shoppers, when surveyed, racked up more than $1,000 in holiday debt, and 5% accumulated more than $5,000 in debt.” So it’s no surprise that “saving money” or “doing a better job of managing personal finances” are two goals that often make people’s top 10 resolution lists.

So what now? Where do I even start? Does the Bible even talk about my personal finances? Does it matter? Why would God be interested in how I use my money every day?

Well, amazingly, the Bible contains more than 2,350 verses about money and possessions -  more scriptures are on this topic than on ANY OTHER topic in the whole Bible. When I learned that, about twelve years ago, I was shocked! I had never been taught that God has sooooo much to say about the one thing that touches every aspect of our lives. Since then, my life has radically changed - for the better!

Before we go into all of that, what is a “steward” anyway, and how does this term relate to personal finances?  Simply put, a steward is a person who has been placed in charge of someone else’s property: a caretaker or the manager responsible for another’s estate. Stewardship relates to every aspect of our lives, not just personal finances, but because money is such a big part of our lives, it’s the area that is focused on the most.

We discover in Genesis 1:26-30 that God commissioned us as rulers over his creation but that He owns everything on Earth and the Earth itself (Psalm 24:1-2, Psalm 50:10-12 & 1 Chron. 29:11-13). This contradicts what our culture tells us: that WE are the owners of everything WE have, that WE deserve to gain as much wealth as WE can, that WE can work our way to whatever WE want and WE should take whatever WE want. If we believe what the Bible says to be true, then our mindset will begin to switch from what WE own to what HE owns.

Changing our minds about what we have been entrusted, how we use funds and resources, how we work, how we take care of others, and how we take care of the Earth God has given us, will cause us to make subtle, life-changing shifts that have radical life-GIVING consequences.

We are going to actively explore several aspects of stewardship this year with blogs right here, starting with personal finances, because January is the best time to start fresh!!
You’re not alone either! As we dive in together, I am going to link FREE resources you can start using immediately, and we have FREE one-on-one, personal coaching available for you.

The number one thing that causes a resolution to fail is lack of accountability. You are much more likely to succeed when someone else walks with you and encourages you all the way. Let’s do this together! Let’s create some real, attainable goals, and start living differently in 2020!!

-Sarah Bateman, Director of Community & Finance
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