5 Areas of Stewardship – Simplify Your Life & Pay Attention To What Matters Most

Romans 14:12
“So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”

It is my prayer that you have decided that you want to live a life of Biblical Stewardship. If that’s you – Congratulations! You are on your way to a blessed life and eternal rewards.

The desire to be a good steward is only the beginning. Now you must activate stewardship principles in your life. Life is endlessly complex, and everyone’s circumstances are different. It can be overwhelming to know where to start. Perhaps you try to be a good steward, but struggle to follow through. With God’s help, you can do it.

This article will simplify your approach to stewardship by categorizing your life into 5 general areas. You can stay on track and continue pleasing the Lord if you keep these areas in focus.

1. Time

Time is life. Literally.
Time is more than numbers on a clock. Time is the measurement of life. It is an accounting of your time on earth.

Although our souls are eternal, God made earthly life with an expiration date. We have a beginning and an end here on Earth. Time is not your enemy any more than the speedometer in your car is your enemy. They both function as a measuring device.

Time must be stewarded, or it will be wasted. How many days have we “wasted time?” How often do you get distracted only to find that you “wasted too much time” on a task or event?

If we don’t pay specific attention to the passage of time, we lose track of it. The Bible gives of examples of those who went somewhere to sojourn (a short journey) only to return decades later. This can happen to anyone who is not intentional about how they spend their time.

Psalm 90:9–12
“For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”

The Scripture tells us that our lives are like a story that is being told. Seventy years of life might sound like a lot when you are young, but it goes incredibly fast. Older people who look back on their lives comment about how quickly time passed.

Because of the fleeting nature of time, God encourages us to “number our days.” Why? So that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom!
When you pay attention to the passage of time, you can apply Biblical principle to life ensuring that your time is well-spent.

There are a few tools that you should master as you “number your days.”

Life Plan
A life plan is precisely what it sounds like. It is a plan of your life. Keep it simple. There is no need to go overboard with this exercise. However, it is foolish to live with no thought of where you want your life to go.
Write down a simple life plan of who you are becoming and what you want your life to look like in the future.

Schedule
A schedule is simply a budget of your time.
Time is a lot like money.  If it’s not budgeted, it will be wasted. A schedule helps you number your days. Use a paper or digital calendar to keep track of important events and appointments.

Some people use these tools to the extreme. They try to direct their lives beyond what is wise. They want to be “in control.” Don’t make that mistake.

James 4:13–15
Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.”

These verses warn us against being presumptuous. Don’t take time for granted. Don’t assume that you have “enough time” or that you will get to important things “later.” Time is like the vapor that rises from a boiling pot of water. It is only visible for a moment. Such is life! Time is as unpredictable as it is fleeting. You have no idea what a day may bring. Don’t presume that life will proceed according to your plan. Don’t live as though you are in control.

Only God knows how much time you have on this Earth. Live each day by faith seeking His will.

2. Talent

As we discussed before, God has given each of us special abilities called talents. Talents differ from skill in that they come naturally. They are inclinations or abilities given by God. Too often talent is taken for granted. A talent that is mixed with character and the right motives becomes a beautiful thing to behold.
Also, God gives spiritual gifts. These are gifts that God gave you at salvation. When energized by the spirit of God, they become great assets.
The Bible tells that we should use these gifts as good stewards. They should be used in God’s service to help one another.

1 Peter 4:10
As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
These different gifts are given to people according to the grace of God.

Romans 12:6–8
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

Some people are better at preaching or teaching than others. Some have a special gift to minister (serve) while others are better at ruling (leadership & administration). Others are specially equipped to encourage (exhort), give, or show mercy.


1 Corinthians 12:4–7
Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

It is the same Holy Spirit that gives these differing gifts. The same Lord works in us all to create a unique mix of talents and gifts.
The gifts are given to us to “profit withal.” Often, people choose careers in those areas of their gifts and talents. If you have a job outside of them, you probably dislike your work. You are wise to know yourself and allow God to lead you into the right position.

Certainly, it’s ok to profit financially with the gifts and talents God gave you. However, it is not ok to use these abilities to make money, but not use them for God. You should be involved in the ministries of your local church using your gifts and talents for God’s work.

  • Can you sing? Then sing for God.
  • Can you teach or preach? Then teach a class or preach at the nursing home.
  • Can you administrate? Then help your pastor lead a ministry.
  • Are you a giver? Then give volunteer your time for projects or give a larger percentage of money to God’s work.
  • Do you have the gift of mercy or ministry? Then work in the nursery or with shut-ins.

There is a job for everyone to do in God’s work. What ministries are you currently involved in? What would you be good at doing in the church?

3. Treasure

When most people think of stewardship, they think of money. While it is not the only area that we should be good stewards, it is an important one. Why? Money is a test God uses to check our heart. Your heart follows your money, and your money follows your heart.

If you have money in the stock market, you probably pay attention to the market regularly. Why? You have money invested.
If you don’t have any money in the stock market, you are much less interested in how it’s doing. This illustration is accurate in every area of your life.

The Bible warns us not to put all our treasure in earthly ventures. We must lay up treasures in Heaven.

Matthew 6:19–21
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”


How do we invest treasure in Heaven?
When we give in the name of the Lord, and for His causes, God applies the money given to our Heavenly account.

This includes money given for:
• Tithes
• Offerings
• World Missions
• Church Planting
• Love Offerings
• Spiritual Projects (such as Church Buildings)
• Alms

Money given to God lasts forever. Money spent on temporal enjoyment or personal gain is lost never to be regained.

That doesn’t mean that God doesn’t want to spend money on Earthly needs. It is your responsibility to care for your family. If you don’t, you are worse than an infidel.

1 Timothy 5:8
“But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”

You should work hard to provide food, shelter, and clothing for your loved ones. Also, it is a good idea to have some savings for unexpected needs or a rainy day. Don’t forget to save for retirement as well. You can even leave an inheritance for your children.

Proverbs 13:22
“A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children:  And the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.”

It’s probably not God’s will that you take a vow of poverty and give every penny away, but He does expect you to be a good steward.

The world teaches you to work to become rich. This philosophy says do whatever is necessary to make money so you can enjoy your life. Neglect your family. Skip church to work on Sundays. Lie steal and cheat (they say) to make it to the top. The Bible tells us the exact opposite!

Proverbs 23:4
Labour not to be rich: Cease from thine own wisdom.”

Labor not to be rich! Your life is made up of more than money.
Cease from thine own wisdom. Stop trying to figure out life yourself. You will never have “enough money.”

Why should you not labor to be rich? Because riches are untrustworthy and fleeting. It comes, and it goes, but He that doeth the will of God abideth for ever!

Proverbs 23:5
“Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not For riches certainly make themselves wings; They fly away as an eagle toward heaven.”

God’s Word is filled with warnings for the rich.

James 5:1–3
Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.”

Riches can be a hindrance to receiving Christ. They can corrupt the heart. So many rich people will be in Hell because their money kept them from seeing their need of the Saviour. It is better to live poorly in this life and go to Heaven than to live like a king here and go to Hell.

Personally, I don’t remember meeting anyone who was born again while they were rich. Most of the rich people I know received Christ before they were wealthy.

Riches are not a terrible thing. We need more wealthy Christians who are generous to finance the Earthly work of God. The Scripture warns rich people to keep God first in their lives.

1 Timothy 6:17–19
“Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”

Many wealthy people don’t rely on God. They trust in their riches instead. Also, they tend to spend their time with other rich people looking down on those who don’t have as much. The Bible encourages the wealthy to be generous and quick to give. This invests their wealth in eternity and helps them “lay hold” on eternal life. That doesn’t mean that they are earning their way to Heaven. It means that putting God first and being quick to give keeps them focused on eternal life to come. It protects them from getting so involved in the worldly lifestyles of the rich and famous.

If you practice Biblical principles of stewardship in your finances, you have a much better chance of God blessing you with riches.

It is not complicated to be wise with your money. Here are a few tools that will help you stay on track.

Financial Plan
This is merely a blueprint for your money. What do you want your finances to look like in the future? Here are a few things that you should include in your financial plan.

  • Save $1,000 in an emergency fund.
  • Pay off all credit cards.
  • Stop using credit. Save then buy.
  • Pay off all debt except for your mortgage.
  • Save 3 – 6 months of your family budget.
  • Pay off the mortgage.
  • Save for retirement.

We could dedicate a chapter to each of these points, but other good financial books have been written on the subject. Here is a one that I recommend. Do your research and create a plan. If you don’t have a goal, you will spend your money frivolously.

Budget
The Bible tells us that we need to be diligent to know the state of our finances.  Also, we are to pay close attention to them because they disappear quickly.  A budget plans your spending.  It protects you from impulsive spending and unwise purchases.   A budget is a schedule for your money.  A schedule is a budget for your time.  You will be a slave to your budget or your bills. Choose your own fate and create a budget.

Money is necessary for life. Choose to be a good steward with it.

Ready to get serious about stewardship? Check out my Downloadable Kit by clicking Here.

4. Testimony

The word “testimony” has multiple definitions in God’s Word. When we speak of someone’s testimony, we mean their reputation. A testimony is the evidence of one’s life as to what they believe. What you do speaks louder than what you say.

Your testimony is a form of currency. Your influence in the world will be increased or decreased based on the strength of your testimony. That’s why Satan and his crowd love to gossip, murmur, and slander. If they can get people to believe bad things about you, your influence for God is hindered. We can’t control what people think, but we can make sure that we aren’t providing satan with ammunition. We must strive to live a blameless life.

Philippians 2:15
“That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;”

Blameless means “irreproachable.” It means that you live in such a way that the bad things people say about you are unbelievable. The dirt doesn’t sick because of who you are and how you live.

Here are a few goals you should have when seeking to be a good steward of your testimony.

We should have the testimony of Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:6
“Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you::

The ultimate goal of the Christian life is to be like Jesus. He is our example in all things.
Seek to live like Him in every area such as:

  • Your walk with God.
  • How you interact with others.
  • Your speech.
  • Your character.
  • Your thought life.
  • Your innermost thoughts.
  • Your schedule.
  • Your budget.
  • Your priorities.
  • Your ministry.

Our hearts should cry out with the old song, “To be like Jesus, To be like Jesus, all I ask is to be like Him!”

We should have the testimony that we please the Lord.

Hebrews 11:5
“By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.”

Everyone should know that it is our goal to please the Lord. No more of this chameleon Christianity that changes its colors depending on who is around. Let everyone in your life know that you are sold out for God. You make decisions based on God’s Word and preference. You will follow God no matter what! He is your Lord and Master. Your priority is to please Him.

Your testimony is important. Sin will ruin it. Live a clean and holy life so that people can see Christ in you.

2 Timothy 2:19–22
Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great hous there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man thereforepurge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”

As you put Christ first and your testimony strengthens, you will have more power with God and men.

5. Truth

God is the Author of Truth. Truth is not negotiable. It is not changeable. It is not moldable to someone’s preference. Truth is absolute and universal.

You can listen to a sermon I preached on the Truth below.

In His Word, God gave us all the truth we need to know in this life.

John 17:17
“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”

God revealed His Word to man through inspiration. Knowing that mankind could not be trusted with the truth, He chose to protect His Word through preservation.

Psalm 12:6-8
The words of the LORD are pure words:As silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, Thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. The wicked walk on every side, When the vilest men are exalted.”

God knew that sinful man would corrupt God’s Truth the first chance they got. Why? Because God’s tells the truth about sin and wickedness. He condemns the pride and iniquity of mankind.

The Devil’s crowd do not want to hear the truth. They condemned our Lord because He told the Truth.

John 8:44–47
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.”

People will reject you and attack you as an enemy for telling the truth.

Galatians 4:16
Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?”

That verse was not written about the godless people of the Apostle Paul’s day. It was written about the people in a church he started in Galatia.
Sadly, God’s people can revert back to such sinfulness that they reject the Truth like the Devil’s crowd.

2 Timothy 4:3–4
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

Countless people who profess Christ as Saviour go to churches that tell them what they want to hear instead of God’s Word. Many faithful pastors fight battles in their own churches because of members that want him “soften up” or stop preaching certain things in the Bible. How sad!

The Bible says that the Church is the pillar and ground of truth.

1 Timothy 3:15
But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”

Churches are the safehouses of truth. They are the protectors and spreaders of the truth. If the rest of the world goes nuts, the church must hold to the Truth. People should be able to go to your church and find the unvarnished Truth of God.

If churches reject the truth, there is nowhere else to turn to get it.
As Christians, we have the truth. Be a protector of the truth. Hold to it with all of your might. God expects us to be good stewards of His Truth is this evil world. If you give up on the truth, who else with spread it?

Yes, the truth can be uncomfortable. Yes, it challenges our pet sins and personal comfort. I know that it exposes the darkest parts of our hearts, yet we must claim and protect the truth.

We have been given the truth, and we will give an account for how we handled it in our lives.

Do you want to hear the Truth? Do you hold to the truth when it hurts you?
Then you are on your way to being a good steward of the truth.

The desire to be a good steward is only the beginning. Now you must activate stewardship principles in your life. Categorizing your life into these five general areas will help you stay on track and please the Lord as you keep these areas in focus.

I love input. I look forward to your comments. I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Your thoughts?