The earth and everything in it, the world and its inhabitants, belong to the Lord. – Psalm 24:1
School is in full swing again and our schedules are once again defined by the "machine" that the fall brings our way. Those with young children try to balance the demands of getting children to their appropriate places for education, including preparation of food, clothing and expected assignments. In the flurry of it all, we wonder what the fruit will be of all our activity underneath the sun. Will what our children and grandchildren learn make an impact that lasts, or be forgotten by next semester?
Like our children, the school of life teaches us just as much as a formal education, but remembering what we have learned might not be so easy. Vivid memories of cram sessions in college haunt us still, but recollecting the subject matter might not be so easy. Lessons in this life "stick" when we apply them rather than just learn about them.
As we are in the season of back to school and everyone is back into the regular schedules once again, school reminds us of the importance of discipline in all areas of life. Everywhere we turn, an education is to be found, and an education in stewarding our finances is possibly one of the most needed. How are we applying and stewarding what we have learned about finances?
Stewardship lessons learned in the school of life are there if we are willing to recognize them and live by them.
Boundaries lie in pleasant places.
Everyone has boundaries. And boundaries don't just limit us - they provide freedom within. Budgets provide boundaries that help us to spend wisely. Living without restraint is a sure way to find ourselves in financially difficult times. But living by sound financial principles that we have learned will establish us well financially.
We are stewards of God's stuff.
All that we own, we don't. We truly do not own anything - we cannot keep it past this life. But we get to steward what the King of kings has given us. Taking care of other people's belongings teaches us to regard what is in our possession as a privilege. Even the smallest thing matters to God. Will we be found faithful?
It is better to give than to receive.
Being generous with others is so much more rewarding than being generous with ourselves. Giving has a way of cultivating a right heart toward finances. Rather than clinging to what we have, we give it away and God gives us more when we have proved faithful with a little.
Gratitude increases Contentment.
When we can choose to be grateful for what we have, we learn contentment just like Paul did. Instead of a feeling of entitlement, we marvel that we get to steward anything at all.
Our heart is where our treasure is.
Our treasure is not in what we own - it will fade. But what our hearts worship - this is our treasure. Will it be eternal or temporary?
What lessons have you learned about finances in the school of life? How are you applying them in your life and in your family's life? Below are some articles to encourage you as you seek to learn and apply how to be the best steward you can be!
Yours for Wise Stewardship,