Soon, you’ll likely see a little something extra in your bank account: a third “stimulus payment” from the federal government. Many people are hurting financially because of the pandemic, layoffs, and other hardships. Others have been fortunate enough to keep a job and a regular paycheck. In that case, the stimulus money is ours to spend as we’d like. Or is it?
As God’s people, we are called to be wise stewards of everything He provides—including our time, our talents, our homes, and our financial resources. And yes, that includes our stimulus checks. So, how can we be excellent stewards in this moment? Here are some basic biblical principles to consider as you think about the resources God has entrusted to you.
1. Remember that your relationship with money is not a numbers issue, it’s a heart issue. Money is mentioned about 140 times in the Bible (depending on your translation). Why? Because God knows that “wherever our treasure is, our heart is there also” (Matthew 6:21). When it comes to giving and spending, do you want to find out whether your heart is aligned with things of God or the things of the world? Take a look at your bank account.
2. Think like a steward (because you are). All we see in this world and everything we currently or will ever have belongs to God. Psalm 24:1 makes that crystal clear: “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” Because God owns everything, anything that passes through our hands is a resource He entrusts us to steward. As God’s resource managers, we must rely on His Word and the biblical counsel of other trusted believers as we consider what to do with all He provides, whether it’s a stimulus check, our time, or our abilities. Fortunately, Scripture provides some great answers (keep reading).
3. Steward your house and your household of faith. Many of us know exactly what we’re going to do with our stimulus check: provide for the basic needs of our family. It’s biblical (1 Timothy 5:8), and the Lord promises to give us the wisdom and other resources we need to serve and love those He has placed under our leadership and care (Philippians 4:19).
Another part of God’s plan is for believers to contribute our time, our talents, and our treasure to His body (1 Corinthians 12:27). Being part of a local body of believers is God’s provision to His people so that we may encourage one another (Hebrews 10:25) and make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). As stewards, we are called to build one another up (Ephesians 4:11-12) and meet the needs of God’s people in and through His church.
4. Increase your standard of
living giving. God didn’t entrust us with resources so we could buy more stuff. He calls each of us to “look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4). As followers of Christ, we’re called to care for those in need (Proverbs 3:27), not out or reluctance or compulsion (2 Corinthians 9:7), but out of the overflow of gratitude for all He has provided. As Randy Alcorn said, “Giving is the only antidote to materialism. How do you break the back of the false idol of materialism, the false god we're so susceptible to? By giving, because when you give, you're saying ‘Money isn't my god.’”
5. Don’t go it alone! Give to trusted partners and talk about it in community. Proverbs 15:22 says “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” That truth not only applies to our business and personal plans, but to our approach to giving as well. Invite other trusted believers into your conversations about giving.
Watermark spends hundreds of hours each year evaluating the most strategic opportunities for giving to and serving our community for the cause of Christ. We look at everything from an organization’s approach to discipleship and effectiveness in ministry to their structure and financial management. Below is a list of organizations Watermark partners with to advance the gospel and care for the spiritual and physical needs of those in our community. We hope you’ll consider these partners in ministry as you steward your time and resources in the weeks ahead. To learn more about how to have a biblical worldview on money and possessions check out this message series from Watermark.
Whitney Pickett, RN (left) and Ese Nosakhare, NP hold copies of Jesus Storybook Bibles purchased for Watermark Urgent Care clinics through a donation from a family who wanted to steward their stimulus checks toward the work God is doing through Watermark Health and the fight against COVID-19. Watermark Urgent Care patients love these Bibles because God’s Word is presented in an interesting and accessible way.
Some of our trusted partners include: