Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Tim. 6:17-18)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Lord, Have I Been A Good Manager For You?

Photo by Roger's Wife
Crown Financial Gives Me A Life Verse

Several years ago, I went through a Crown Financial Bible Study that revolutionized how I thought about my time, my talents, and my finances. As a result of going through that study, I adopted 1 Corinthians 4:2 as my life verse:

Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.

Although I’m already mostly “hardwired” to be a hardworking, conscientious, and a “do everything with excellence” kind of guy, this verse gives me a much better reason, a constant reminder to use everything I have been given to the best of my ability for God’s glory. One day, I will give an account to the Lord on how well I managed everything that He has given me to manage.

The Stuff We Must Manage Well

God has entrusted to each and every one of us a specific amount of time to live on this earth. How are we spending that time? Are we sitting on the sofa, playing video games or watching cable TV all day? Are we messing around at our workplaces and not using the time effectively for our employers? Are we faithful in showing up to church each week to worship corporately with our brothers and sisters in the body of Christ and connect with other believers in our small groups?

God has also invested in each of us specific talents and abilities. If you’re a musician, then you need to play your instrument or sing your heart out to the best of your ability for God’s glory. If you can teach, then you should teach others to the best of your ability. If God has shaped your personality to be a strong leader, then you need to lead with excellence. If God made you a writer, then write your fingers to the bone to further His Kingdom here on earth.

God has placed specific people in our lives with whom He wants us to pour our lives into: our parents, grandparents, siblings, spouses, children, friends, business relationships, and so on. Obviously, we have to prioritize these relationships and invest the majority of our time and energy into those closest to us. Never underestimate, though, the impact you can have on those people that are further down on your list. When I look back on my life and relationships, some of the people that have helped me the most at critical life moments have not always been those closest to me. You may be able to have that same kind of impact on others as well.

Finally, God has deposited money, assets, and resources into our lives to be used for His Kingdom purposes. How faithful have you been so far in managing His financial resources? Is your family struggling with massive amounts of debt? Do you have a spending plan in place? Do you have a shopping addiction? Have you been tithing purposefully? Have you been giving assistance to your fellow believers in Christ who may be in need? Have you been helping the poor?

One Day, We Will Discuss Our Management Skills

God has blessed our lives with so much. Right now, during challenging economic times, you may not necessarily feel like you have piles of blessing. Compared to other people groups and countries around the world, though, your life and material blessings far outweigh your possible financial problems.

The purpose of this incredible blessing of time, talent, relationships, and finances isn’t to use these resources for selfish purposes. God is watching us to see if we’re being effective managers of what He has given us to manage. One day, we all get to have a little chat with the Father about our management skills. Is He going to be happy with how effective you were? If not, what do you need to do today or even this next year to turn that around?

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