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  • Writer's pictureNeil Chacko, CFP®, CKA®

What is Biblical Financial Stewardship?

Updated: Jul 28, 2022

By Neil Chacko, CFP®, CKA®

Many people are surprised to learn that the Bible has over 2300 verses that talk about money and money management. In fact, the subjects of money and money management represent over 15% of Jesus’ teachings. It is fair to assume, then, that how we handle money is important to God.

Psalm 24:1 tells us “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it; the world, and all who live in it.” That means EVERYTHING on the earth is God’s, including the resources such as money, gold, land, etc. 1 Chronicles 29:11-12 says “Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the splendor and the majesty, for everything in the heavens and on earth belongs to You. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom, and You are exalted as head over all. Riches and honor come from You, and You are the ruler of everything. Power and might are in Your hand, and it is in Your hand to make great and to give strength to all.”

So, if everything we have or will ever have comes from God what, then, is our role? We are called to be good stewards of what God has given us. A steward is defined as someone that manages or looks after another’s property. Biblical stewardship is the use of God-given resources (time, talent, treasure, relationships, etc.) for the accomplishment of God-given goals and objectives. One of the most well-known pictures of stewardship in the Bible is the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30). In this parable, Jesus tells a story about a man who is going away on a long journey (referred to as the master) and entrusts three servants (the stewards) with specific sums of talents, which was a monetary unit in Jesus’ time. Two of the stewards doubled what they were given while the master was away. The third servant, however, buried the talents he received so that he could give back exactly what the master gave him. However, he was dealt with harshly when the master returned, being called “wicked and lazy” and was cast away into the darkness and the talents that were given to him taken away to be given to one of the other servants. Why is this? He was a bad steward of what he was entrusted with. He did not put it to work as his master would have wanted him to. He knew what his master expected (v.24-25 states that he knew that the master expected him to grow the wealth), yet he did not follow his master’s will. The two servants that multiplied what they were given were called “good and faithful” and were rewarded because they did what their master wanted them to do with what they received. This is good stewardship.

However, good stewardship is not hoarding what you receive just for the sake of having more. We see this in Luke 12:13-21, the Parable of the Rich Fool. Jesus tells of a rich man that became even richer by yielding an abundant harvest and decided to build bigger barns to store his surplus and then take life easy by “eating, drinking and being merry.” However, God says to him in verse 20: “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?”

So, if good stewardship is managing the resources in such a way that it brings joy to the owner (God) then what are we called to do? First, we surrender our will to God and let His will be done. Seek to know Him more by spending time in His word and conversing with Him in prayer. Then you will know in your heart what He would want you to do with what He entrusts you with. Good financial stewardship, then, is following God’s will with the income, assets and other resources that he has entrusted you with.

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