“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”
I happen to own a fair amount of stuff. I have a car that helps me get from place to place. I have a laptop that I use for work purposes. I have a smartphone to watch all those cat videos. And there are plenty of cat videos out there. I also have a whole slew of everyday items from clothing to shampoo to toilet paper. Legally, all of this stuff belongs to me. But there’s one thing that I often have to remind myself of: I really don’t own any of it. None of these things in my possession really belong to me. They ultimately belong to God. And I am simply a steward of the stuff that He owns. God has assigned me to be a caretaker of His money and His possessions. That’s one of the first things we need to understand when it comes to handling wealth and material possessions. They don’t really belong to us.
A steward is a person who is assigned to take care of somebody else’s possessions. And that’s exactly what Christians happen to be—stewards of somebody else’s property. It’s clear in Scripture that God owns it all. Everything belongs to Him. The psalmist declared, “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” (Psalm 24:1, NIV). And God has simply allowed us to make use of what is ultimately His and we have the responsibility to steward these things well. Handling the money that we have and the items in our possession will always be a matter of proper Christ-centered stewardship. And God is always concerned about how we utilize the wealth and possessions that have been entrusted to us.
Now the stuff that we have can be used for our enjoyment. Paul said in his first letter to Timothy that God “richly provides us with everything to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17, ESV). So it’s certainly not wrong to enjoy the things that God has entrusted to us. But we mustn’t neglect the verse that comes after that. Paul encourages us to serve others by doing good, being generous, and by sharing our possessions (see 1 Timothy 6:18). So yes, we can use our money and possessions for our enjoyment. But at the same time, we must also learn to steward them for God’s kingdom purposes.
I see my car in this way. God has entrusted me with a vehicle not only for my enjoyment but also for proper stewardship in His kingdom. I must utilize this piece of property in Christ-centered ways. And so I often use my car to pick up passengers and drop them off at home as an extension of my ministry. I’ve come to understand that my car doesn’t really belong to me. It belongs to God and His kingdom. And if I constantly see things in that way, it makes me far less selfish and it encourages me to make use of my possessions for greater kingdom purposes.
How do you see your money and possessions? Do you see them as belonging to you or belonging to God? And how far are you willing to use these possessions for God’s kingdom purposes?