By Chris Denning
I don’t know about you, but I love stuff. More specifically, I love MY stuff.
My guitars, my computers, my PS4, my car, my phone. I just enjoy having a cool piece of tech or even getting new clothes.
Now, there’s nothing really wrong with having stuff, but how we view our stuff and how we choose to treat it allows us to see a much deeper issue.
Again, the issue isn’t simply having nice things. The Bible doesn’t teach that we should never have anything nice or not have anything of our own. However, if we believe that we absolutely own or, even worse, deserve our nice things (or simply things in general), then we’ve crossed the line into some sticky sin-filled areas.
Entitlement. Pride. Greed. Idolatry.
Yep, I said idolatry. You may be thinking, “But Chris, I don’t have any wood sculptures in my house that I pray to or have gold statues that I think are God.”
Fair enough, but what if I told you that idolatry goes MUCH deeper than physical representations. Idolatry has more to do with the condition of your heart than the things you have.
Idolatry is simply putting something, or even someone, before God. Your job could be an idol. Your marriage could be an idol. Your reputation can be an idol. Even your kids could be an idol. (But that’s for another post.)
In the series we’re starting this weekend, God’s, we’re going to outline the difference between ownership & stewardship. Stewardship can be basically understood as taking care of something that isn’t yours.
When you own something (READ: MY Guitars, MY Computers, MY car, etc), you can easily feel like its owed to you and you deserve it. When you steward something (READ: THEIR Guitars, HIS Computers, HER car, etc), you are less likely to view it as something you deserve or something you can value above God.
Stewardship is how we combat idolatry in our everyday life.
When we begin to understand that we don’t truly own anything in this world, that everything we have is a gift from God, then we are unable to put anything before God, Himself.
When you have this perspective, your stuff become things that constantly point you back to him. With this stewardship mindset, even our finances, our money can turn us to God.
This is how a stewardship mindset looks like:
- I have an awesome car! –> Thank you God for blessing me with this car.
- I love my awesome family! –> Thank you Lord for giving me my family.
- I am so rich! –> Thank you God for letting me manage Your money for Your good.
Being a steward for the living God can yeild only one response: Gratitude. A grateful person is less likely (notice I didn’t say “will never”) to put idols in front of God, because they have a right perspective of Him.
Moving from being an owner to a steward is a slow transition that has to take place in both our heads and hearts, but it is possible.
This weekend, we’re going to be talking about God’s purpose for our stuff, including our finances and resources. If you’re nervous about talking about money in church, then rest easy knowing that we’ll be talking about it in a way you’ve probably never heard before. Plus, we’re not asking for any money, so no need to freak out. 🙂