As His stewards, God gives us resources to manage according to His principles and purposes. But God has entrusted to us much more than money and possessions. We’ll talk about that today with Jason Myhre.
Jason Myhre, is Executive Director of the Eventide Center for Faith & Investing— an educational initiative of Eventide Asset Management and an underwriter of this program.
- Stewardship is the idea that nothing in our possession is actually ours. Instead, God is the rightful owner of all things. Psalms 24:1 says this very clearly, “The earth is the LORD’s, AND EVERYTHING IN IT…” And in Hebrew there everything means everything haha. And this makes sense because God is the creator of all things.
- So stewardship is a way of seeing the things in our possession as actually belonging to God. The things we have in our possession are really God’s things that he has entrusted to us. We are managers of God’s things, or “stewards” of God’s things.
- The reason this is important is that it can really free us the selfishness and acquisitiveness that is so endemic to life after the fall. All of us are prone to grasp after things and to hold them tightly. Stewardship can help us to be more content with the things in our lives and to open our hands in generosity to those in need.
- Stewardship can liberate us from the power that money can exert in our lives. And when we live in that freedom, it can be a powerful witness to the reality of God and his kingdom.
- IS YOUR VIEW OF STEWARDSHIP BIG ENOUGH?
- But many times, our vision of stewardship is too small. In practice, we tend to see stewardship in the following way:
- We ask ourselves, “What has God entrusted to us?” And then we take stock of our money and possessions. “Oh, I have this much in the bank, I have a house, I have two cars, I have my investments, etc.”
- We understand stewardship in terms of these things that God has placed in our immediate possession. And all of that is valid.
- But let’s call this stewardship with a lowercase “s” – stewardship of the things in our immediate possession.
- Biblically, there is a much bigger sense of stewardship that we must come to see and understand: Stewardship with a capital “S”.
- THE BIGGER PICTURE OF STEWARDSHIP
- We must remember that God has entrusted us with stewardship of his ENTIRE CREATION.
- In Genesis chapter one, when God creates humanity in his image, he commissions them to be royal stewards over everything he made. In verse 26 it says, “Let them rule…” “Let them reign…” “Let them have dominion…” and (verse 28) “…subdue the earth.” This is stewardship language.
- And so to go back to the stewardship question, “What has God entrusted to me?” In addition to the things in our immediate possession, we also have under our stewardship, in the language of Genesis one: The fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, livestock, animals … all of it.
- God made all things and then made us to be royal stewards over all those things! That’s Stewardship with a capital “S”.
- HOW CAN WE APPLY THIS TO INVESTING DECISIONS?
- Just as there are two levels of stewardship, there are also two levels of investing.
- On one level, investing is about seeking a good return. That’s the part of investing we’re used to thinking about. And on another level, investing involves our supply of capital that supports a business. Our capital enlarges the work of the businesses we invest in. We amplify their activities and what they’re doing in the world.
- With the smaller sense of stewardship, we understand that God has put these specific dollars in our care and we have to be wise. We have to seek to generate a good return on investing through prudent risk-taking.
- With the larger sense of stewardship, we understand that God has put the entire creation in our care and we have to be wise. We have to seek to enlarge the beauty and goodness and provision and flourishing of the creation with every decision we make. We have to see to generate a good return on God’s creation such that the world is made even more the place of delight he created it to be. And so we have to be attentive to the kinds of companies we’re investing in, and the impact of those companies in creation through their products and practices.
- The good news is that there is an entire industry of Christian faith-based investments that are seeking to pay attention to both sides of stewardship.
- For more information on faith-based investing, Jason Myhre put together a list of faith-based funds that listeners can download. To get that, go to FaithandInvesting.com/FaithFi.
- (RW) Great, Jason, and thanks for being with us today …
On this program, Rob also answers listener questions:
- What are the rules for receiving spousal Social Security benefits?
- What is the asset limit for someone receiving Medicaid benefits?
Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Also, visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.