4 principals of stewardship
"Remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth."
- Deuteronomy 8:18
Do you ever struggle with the idea of stewardship? Are you ever concerned about responsibly using the financial resources God has entrusted to you?
You most likely struggle because you know Jesus died for our sins, and you want your actions to serve him. You want to live generously and in alignment with the plan God has for your life.
PRINCIPLES OF STEWARDSHIP
The idea of biblical stewardship is where the concepts of faith work and economics intersect. The Institute for Faith, Work & Economics defines four principles of stewardship:
- Accountability, and
As Christians, we know that God owns everything, and we are simply administrators acting on his behalf. Furthermore, we must be responsible in how we manage the resources He has entrusted to us.
According to the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics, we will eventually be “called to give an account of how we have administered everything we have been given, including our time, money, abilities, information, wisdom, relationships, and authority.” And our reward will be in heaven.
LEAP OF FAITH
It was hard for me to leave my employer in 2013. I had strong relationships with coworkers and clients, developed through my seven-year tenure. I was compensated well, comfortable, and surrounded by smart, ambitious people.
But God pulled my heartstrings to make a change. He called me to be more present to my immediate family. He asked me to serve clients whose values were consistent with mine – regardless of financial net worth. He urged me to take a leap of faith. And I did.
It was clear that God wanted me to be home more with my young kids and cultivate a stronger relationship with my husband Bryan. However, I didn’t fully figure out God's plan for my professional life until several years later.
I held a few part-time wealth management positions in 2014 and 2015 while growing my accounting firm SV CPA Services. None of the wealth management positions felt like the right cultural fit. WorthyNest® was created in fall 2015 alongside my sister Julie, and our tagline was “where money meets motherhood.” We envisioned an educational membership site for young mothers. But Julie yearned to be a full-time stay at home mom in 2016, and I wanted to take WorthyNest® in a different direction as a Registered Investment Advisory firm. I officially launched WorthyNest® in November 2016 as a solo, independent practitioner.
These transitions taught me a lot about courage. And trust. And faith.
My income as a small business owner is unpredictable. In fact, my husband Bryan and I earned less money in each of the last four calendar years than we did in 2013. That’s OK. We also gave more money to charitable causes in 2017 than ever before – doubling our 2016 contributions.
Our priorities are different, and we live each day with intention. We accept the things we cannot change and change the things we can.
It certainly doesn't make us perfect. Far from it. Day by day, we are striving to become better versions of ourselves. Isn't that what you are doing, too?
CHANGE IS INEVITABLE
I know I’m not alone. Change is inevitable. You can either run away or walk bravely towards it.
Maybe your child just left for college. Or you're embarking on a second career. Perhaps you're starting or selling your business. Or you lost a loved one recently and have a financial inheritance coming. Positive or negative, it’s a transition.
Work with an advisor who specializes in transitions. Find someone who can manage investments and co-create a financial plan that is tied to your vision and values. Together, brainstorm ways to provide sustenance for your family and simultaneously meet your philanthropic goals. Discuss the financial trade-offs of bigger life choices and recognize the importance of stewardship in those decisions.
What does stewardship mean to you? How can you be a great steward of the resources God has entrusted to you? Please share your response in the comments below.