“Its mine, I worked hard to earn it and it is mine! Don’t tell me how to handle it!”
That’s how I used to think. But then, I had an epiphany. Its not mine after all.
What I truly believe about the world deeply affects how I relate to the world. That could not be truer when it comes to our relationship to money and all of our “stuff.” For a Christian or anyone espousing a Biblical worldview, the first fundamental is that God owns it all. He is the Creator of all things, the sustainer of all things, and the Redeemer of his people and the world he created. He has given us power to get wealth; apart from his gifts of intelligence and well-being, we would not be able to do what we do to gain wealth.
This understanding of the way things are produces some great results.
1. Recognizing that God owns it all, and he has graciously allowed me to have the use of some of his stuff increases gratitude in my enjoyment of my stuff. The Apostle Paul, writing to his young protege, Timothy, says we should enjoy our stuff and be generous with our stuff. Generosity is the result of an attitude of gratitude toward God, who has so generously blessed us.
“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” 1 Timothy 6:17-19 ESV
2. Recognizing that God owns it all, and he has graciously allowed me to have the use of some of his stuff establishes the basis of stewardship. Stewardship is the management of someone else’s assets and income for their benefit or according to their purposes.
When I recognize that all the stuff I have to enjoy and manage is actually God’s and not mine and that he is Sovereign over all things, including the stock market, I am relieved of a great deal of stress and anxiety. This does not relieve me of any responsibility to manage with my best efforts, but it does take the results out of my hands and into the hands of the one who owns it all. The results? Peace of mind.
So, recognizing that God owns it all increases my joy in gratitude, my enjoyment of gifts of God’s grace, the realization of accountability as a steward and peace of mind that the ultimate outcome is in God’s purview and not mine.
Have you had a similar epiphany to mine? Tell me your story at Charles.Stanley@wpwm.com.
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