There are dozens of verses in the Bible that deal with money, possessions, and our attitudes toward them. Some teach very specific lessons, while others give a broad, general teaching that will help us if we apply it to our finances. Among these dozens of passages, though, there is one verse that, I believe, summarizes nearly all that the Bible teaches about finances and possessions. You might think that it would be found in Proverbs, since so many helpful maxims–including dozens about money and possessions–are found there. It is not found there, nor in the Old Testament at all. The verse is found in Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth. The verse is not found in a context of money, but in a context of being an apostle of Christ. Paul is defending his role and work, but he gives a principle that is as true in the world of personal finance as it is in the role of being an apostle. He wrote, “It is required in stewards, that a man be faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2 , KJV). Notice three implications for our finances from that single statement. 1. What we have is not ours. We are called “stewards.” The word indicates that we are a manager for someone else. The Greek word was one that was used of a household manager. We might think of the rich man who has to go away on business, and leaves all of his household affairs in the care of a trusted servant. God has blessed us with all we have, and we are to manage it well. Asaph, speaking for the Lord, wrote, “For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills” (Psalm 50:10). As virtually every Christian financial writer has said, “…and so are the hills!” It is fine to think of money and things as “mine,” so long as I do not lose sight that this is only partially true. Everything is really God’s, but He has made me a steward over them for a time. 2. We are to be faithful stewards. The English Standard Version uses the term “trustworthy.” The word comes from a Greek term that meant that one could be relied on, and had proven that reliability over time. As we often say, trust must be earned. When we look at our lives and notice our frailties, it can be hard to fathom that God has promised each of us anything to manage. But, out of gratitude, our job is to be faithful over however little or however much He might choose to give. There is, in reality, only one way to be a faithful manager, and that is to seek the wisdom and heart of God. Since everything is His, and we are managing it for Him, we need to make the decisions that we feel He would make when dealing with our finances. 3. This is required . . . God does not teach us that we can be faithful in certain areas, and unfaithful in others. Instead, in whatever area He chooses to bless us, we are to be faithful. That would include our time, our talents, and, yes, our finances and possessions, too. Each time we make a budget, spend money, give financially, or do something to earn more income, we need to think soberly and prayerfully about how we are using God’s blessing in our lives. If anything will curb poor financial habits , that is it! This one verse should be an eye-opening reminder to us. Everything else the Bible teaches about money can be placed under the umbrella of what this one statement teaches. These words need to be etched into our minds, because we so often lose sight of the “basics” of Christian stewardship. Our Lord, however, has given us so much, and we are required to be faithful. Are you obeying His will? Have you been faithful with what God has entrusted you with? Meet us in the comments and let’s explore the topic of stewardship. Image by Ekaterina Garyuk / Shutterstock Related Articles: What is stewardship? Are you a good steward? Can a Camel fit through a Needle? God’s economy The Bible and Debt Can you fit through the eye of a needle? Prosperity Gospel, Poverty Gospel, and the Gospel Adam Faughn is a minister in Nashville, Tennessee. He is married to Leah and they have 2 children. You can check out his personal blog or follow him on Twitter . The articles on this site are for entertainment purposes and should not be taken as financial advice. Please contact a financial professional for specific advice regarding your situation. Also, many of the CPF articles help us pay the bills by using affiliate relationships with Amazon, Google, eBay and others. Find out more here .
Faithful: A Devotional