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Handling the Master's Money

Published since 1990, Sound Mind Investing is America's premier Christian financial newsletter.  Learn more about Christian investing and finances at the SMI Web site.Preparing for When the Power Goes Out

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Sound Mind Investing

Handling the Master's Money

By Austin Pryor for Sound Mind Investing

Investing that glorifies God is motivated solely by a desire to see His kingdom grow. If you're a follower of Jesus Christ, then you know that:

Our life is not your own. "You also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ." (Romans 1:6) "If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord." (Romans 14:8)

Your body is not your own. "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you've received from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price." (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

And, neither is your money your own. "To the LORD your God belongs the heavens, the earth and everything in it." (Deuteronomy 10:14) "Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me." (Job 41:11)

Since we have nothing that was not given to us, we have no basis for pride, only gratitude. "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19) "For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive?" (1 Corinthians 4:7)

We have management responsibilities for the wealth we temporarily hold, not ownership rights. It's a life-long calling that requires us to continually live with one eye on eternity. "So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you property of your own?" (Luke 16:11-12)

Our primary management responsibility is to be available to God for Him to think, act, speak, and give through us so that His will is accomplished and His name is glorified. "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10:31)

Wealth is exceedingly dangerous and has a history of spiritually devastating those who seek it. It must be handled with great care. "People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." (1 Timothy 6:9)

God evaluates the faithfulness of our management based on what we do with what we have now, not what we might do someday if we had more. "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness." (Matthew 25:21)

We should manage with a sense of urgency. This should incline us toward giving what we can now rather than saving up in order to give more later. Later may be too late. This has implications for how much of our wealth we leave our children or put aside in charitable foundations. "As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work." (John 9:4) "He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief..." (2 Peter 3:9-10)

God has built the law of sowing and reaping into the fabric of the universe. He can be trusted to pay us the perfectly appropriate wage for our work. "Remember this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously." (2 Corinthians 9:6)

Giving is an affair of the heart. We should pray that our heart's response is appropriate in light of God's unspeakable gift of Christ to us. "Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful [hilarious] giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." (2 Corinthians 9:7-8)

It is not difficult to lay aside earthly wealth when you have God as your treasure. "O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you.... Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live....My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me." (Psalm 63:1,3,8)

Sound Mind Investing. Sound Mind Investing exists to help individuals understand and apply biblically-based principles for making spending and investing decisions in order that their future financial security would be strengthened, and their giving to worldwide missionary efforts for the cause of Christ would accelerate. In other words, we want to help you have more so that you can give more.

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