Updated: Nov 9, 2020
What does our financial stewardship strategy look like? Let’s start with June Hunt’s Checklist for Trustworthy Spending. June is the founder of Hope for the Heart, a world-wide biblical counselling ministry that, for more than 30 years, has provided a wide variety of resources for people seeking answers.
She begins her Checklist with this question: “How do you know whether you are trustworthy in the way you spend money?"
Her answer is this: “You must first desire to please God in every way that you manage the financial resources He has given to you.”
“Before you purchase anything,” she said, “ask yourself:
Is this purchase a true need or just a desire?
Do I have adequate funds to purchase this without using credit?
Have I compared the cost of competing products?
Have I prayed about this purchase?
Do I have God’s peace regarding this purchase?
Does this purchase conform to the purpose God has for me?
If you have a spouse: Is there agreement with your spouse about this purchase?”
June Hunt is encouraging us to think carefully before we spend our money.
Here’s my question: Is it our money?
Perhaps this is the first question we need to answer as we begin to construct a Biblical Framework for our Financial Stewardship Strategy.
In Deuteronomy chapter 8, Moses reminds the people of Israel to remember the Lord their God. The words in this chapter ring true down through the ages. Let’s look at verses 10 to 18.
"When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you. Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end— then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’ And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day."
Has anything really changed for us today?
Bill Hybels in his book, Simplify, answers this way: "None of us got where we are in life 100 percent on our own power. We haven’t bootstrapped ourselves into our current positions without help – from teachers, parents, bosses and others who influenced us or gave us a break."
These were gifts directed our way from God. As Scripture boldly states:
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17
Hybels continues: "God gave you life. He gave you talents and aptitudes. He gave you learning capabilities. He has opened educational and vocational doors for you throughout your life. A humble person with any degree of sound judgement will readily admit, 'I didn’t get here on my own. Everything I have came my way from the loving hand of God.'"
Hybels asks us: "Do you believe this? Do you have a right understanding of the depth to which, contrary to our culture’s mind-set, you are not a self-made woman or a self-made man? You are a daughter or son of a loving Father in heaven who has given you everything you have, and who invites you to steward your talents, gifts, education, opportunities and possessions for His purposes in the world.'
Between June Hunt and Bill Hybels, we have a lot to think and pray about. May God’s word be in the midst of our thoughts, and may our grateful praise fill our prayers. So be it. Amen.