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FIRST-PERSON: Question: How’s your contentment level?

GAINESVILLE, Ga. (BP)–Christians are used to hearing the word stewardship. The word stewardship means management, and biblical stewardship involves commitment and contentment.

Who does all this stuff belong to?

The Bible says that God owns all things. Yet, few Christians really seem to understand what it means to be a manager of what God owns. The first requirement for a person to be a good steward of his or her life is to be a proper manager of the provisions God has made for her or him. This requires a commitment to God and to the lordship of Christ.

God also wants us to be contented. Jesus said that personal choice and discipline are necessary for contentment. “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth” (Matthew 6:24 NASB). Are you making the right choices?

If you’ve been seeking a committed life of contentment, the following are some choices that you might want to consider in order to live contentedly. It’s not a foolproof plan, but if you’ll get started on this strategy you’ll be way ahead of 90 percent of those you know.

— Set a goal to become debt-free. Our market-driven culture isn’t available to help you here and your friends may think it’s impossible to become debt free, but it’s not. The goal is well worth your effort. And, those skeptical friends might just want to know how you were able to do it.

— Establish a reasonable standard of living based on conviction, not the convenience of income. God has no universal Christian financial plan. Nevertheless, you can decide to stop spending 105 or 110 percent of what you make (figure it out sometime soon).

— Acquire the giving habit. Give beyond the tithe; don’t stop with 10 percent. God wants us to be involved with the needs of others. When you become debt-free, you’ll quickly discover that it releases more of the money God has put under your control for kingdom use.

— Set firm priorities. Many Christians are discontented. Strangely, they’re not discontented because they aren’t doing well but because others are doing better than they are. God’s Word tells us to be “content with what you have” (Hebrews 13:5 NASB).

— Develop a thankful attitude. Doesn’t it seem strange that some Americans could think that God has failed them materially? No matter what their income level might be, instead of being grateful many complain and compare themselves to others and forget to be thankful for what they have.

— Reject a fearful spirit. Don’t always be asking “What if?” Even dedicated Christians can become frozen with fear over not having enough because they wonder “What if” about things like unemployment, disability, retirement, economic collapse and so on.

— Seek God’s will for you. Get alone with God and get into his Word. Learn what he wants for you and then apply biblical principles of stewardship in your life. The apostle Paul wrote, “Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God…. It is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy” (1 Corinthians 4:1-2 NASB).

How’s your commitment and contentment level? Ask yourself, just how much is enough?

    About the Author

  • Larry Burkett