“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” – 2 Corinthians 9:7 (ESV).
There comes a time in our lives where faith and logic collide; one of those is stewardship. God has created us to be logical thinkers and problem solvers, but He also created us as spiritual beings who trust in His ability to do things beyond what our logical minds can comprehend. When we are on the fence between reason and faith, the Bible is the ultimate arbiter. We are called to be obedient to His word even when logic or reason would determine otherwise. And that includes stewardship. Reason is never too far away, however. If I give a percentage of my time, talents, and treasures to the Lord, then the net result will be that I no longer have access to those that time, talents, and treasures. Whatever I give to the church, I have that less money to use as I see fit.
Jesus described how God has given each person unique resources, and how He is looking for “the faithful and sensible steward”—people who are faithful with the resources they have been given. Through faith, we understand many things that at first appear quite illogical to us. Love, for example, is at times most illogical. There are successful marriages where the two people seem polar opposites and there is no logic to them being happy and content together. Through faith we understand. It is also through faith we understand something of God’s plan and purpose for our lives; and by accepting what we do not understand, we rise above the gravitational pull of our old natures and lives.
So what is the secret to stewardship? Paul tells us to start with our hearts, not our heads. True stewardship is a faith thing, not a reason and logic thing. God calls us to move as our heart tells us to move and not as our logical minds might move. Second, he tells us “not to give not reluctantly or under compulsion.” We need to freely give in such a way that the left-hand doesn’t want to pull out of the offering plate what the right hand just put in. We need to give as the Lord is moving us to give.
In the process of making giving decisions, we really establish our alignment with God on stewardship. As we continually decide to give, we constantly confirm how much we value our relationship with God. When we truly look at ourselves as stewards, then the decisions to give are as simple as thinking and praying about how He wants us to allocate His resources.
Stewardship is a freeing experience as it connects us more closely to God relationally. The ultimate outcome is that those who give as stewards experience a sense of intimacy with God that all followers of Christ long for. Giving becomes worship. Giving becomes a way of saying thanks to God for His grace and promised provision. Giving becomes a deep part of our personal connection to God.
- How do you deal with the question of logic versus faith when it comes to stewardship?
- What role does giving play in your relationship with God?