Stewardship Is Spiritual
By Ken Neevel
Perhaps you’re familiar with this statement: “Show me your calendar and your checkbook, and I’ll show you what’s really important in your life.” Today it might say, “Show me your Google calendar and credit card statement,” but the principle is the same.
Billy Graham said it this way: “Every person’s checkbook is a theological document. It tells you who and what they worship.” More importantly, Jesus said something very similar: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).
Notice that Jesus doesn’t say, “Where your heart is, there your treasure will be.” I might believe that if I care about a certain nonprofit organization, I’d contribute to it. But would I? Where my treasure is tells me where my heart is. If, on the other hand, I invested all my savings into one stock, I guarantee you I would check the performance of that stock on a very regular basis. Jesus’ point is that if you’re not already investing in something, your heart isn’t really there. So where is your treasure? It will tell you where your heart is.
I sometimes hear from people that the church just wants “their” money to fund the budget, pay the bills, or expand the building. But stewardship isn’t a financial issue; it’s a spiritual one. It’s not about “stuff.” It’s about discipleship. In the words of Chris Willard and Jim Sheppard in their book Contagious Generosity, it’s about “being a part of what [God] wants to do through people in his church with the resources he has given them.”
God doesn’t need anything from us, but God does desire our hearts. Clearly, the way we steward our resources is a marker of our spiritual health. It isn’t possible to be a disciple of Jesus without giving joyfully and generously from the resources that have been entrusted to us.
The goal of Christian stewardship is the faithful management of everything that God gives us so that God can use our gifts to transform us and to extend Christ’s transforming love to others.
Christian stewardship has to do with where our hearts are. God’s goal is always transformed hearts and lives. Where is your heart?
Ken Neevel is director of development and facilitation for the RCA. “More Than Enough” reflects on issues of faith and stewardship.
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