Saturday, February 25, 2012

Good Stewardship

Walking With the Lord is a weekly pause we take here at Ruby in the Rough to focus on the things of the Lord. Sometimes it will be a devotional, sometimes a lesson from our church that stood out as being particularly applicable.

Recently my husband taught a Sunday School lesson on the topic of stewardship, and I thought it was particularly impacting. The timing of the lesson was interesting, because starting a couple weeks after he taught on the topic the Lord gave our family a series of financial blessings. Over the last month these blessings have served to keep my mind constantly going back to the topic of good stewardship.

As I've learned more about Biblical stewardship,
I've found that I have a tendency to think in terms of Poverty Theology. What is Poverty Theology?
Poverty Theology is the belief that those who are poor are more righteous than those who are rich. It includes the belief that material wealth keeps you from serving God and that those who choose to live in poverty are more particularly devoted to God than those who do not. (from my husband's lesson)
Ouch. I really dislike that definition, because it makes me uncomfortable. While I don't think out my "theology of money" in quite the same words, I see in those words the roots of my own thought process. It is clearly NOT what the Bible teaches. However, this is a mindset that I grapple with pretty much any time the Lord gives us a major blessing--especially a financial one. I find myself thinking thoughts such as:

If God has blessed us in this way there has to be a reason--are we about to experience a major medical emergency that will require every bit of this blessing?

Is it right for my husband and I to set major goals like buying a house, or should we instead focus on giving any extra we can to missions or some other worthy cause?

If we DON'T give this blessing away will there be consequences--whether from the Lord, or from our own distraction with the gift?

Can a Christian who is well-off actually ever truly focus on the Lord?
Nearly all of these questions stem from a misunderstanding of what the Bible has to say about Godly Stewardship. In fact, what I've realized is that my mindset is more to fearfully trust Murphy's Law (anything that can go bad, will go bad; and if things seem to be going well at the moment, it's only because they will be even worse later on) than to trust in the loving hand of my benevolent Father. This is an area that I definitely need to work on in my own life.

If you have a chance over this weekend I recommend listening to the entire lesson my husband taught. It can be found here:

What about you? Do you think in terms of Poverty or Prosperity theology? Can you trust God both when things are going well, and when they don't seem to be?

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