From Poverty And Prosperity To Being Good Stewards

By Not Known

Most of us have heard of the Prosperity Gospel which focuses on the rewards of the righteous.  Champions of this belief feel that it is their right to be given, found and open to them as they ask, seek and knock. There is really no need to wear oneself out to get rich because, like a transaction, God has it all and is freely and readily giving it away to whoever is willing to ask, seek and knock.  Usually, the emphasis is on wealth and health.

On the other hand, there is a school that teaches what we call the poor people’s understanding of God.  Generally, these proponents see possessions as a curse.  Often they exhort others to “sell, and give to the poor” following Jesus’ exhortation to the rich young ruler.  The issue with these followers tends to be that while God has it all, the foolish squander everything and hence they would rather be pre-occupied with daily needs instead of the distraction of possessions.  “Be care-free” they say, better to die poor than to be consumed with greed.

There is yet another way of looking at possessions – what some call the stewardship principle.  It is a privilege that God has entrusted us with varying possessions.  This understanding is based mainly on the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30.  The key is faithful administration. In 1 Corinthians 4:2, Paul reminds us that “it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.”  Hence, stewardship means we have to be careful to handle whatever is entrusted to us.  What we need is wisdom from God and faithfulness in our relationship with Him (Luke 16:10-13).

Sometimes, it’s easy for us just to say, “Don’t worry, we have a great sovereign God who knows our needs; just ask and God will provide.”  Yes, He will indeed provide. At other times, we may be inclined to say, “Let’s not do too much, whatever we have is good enough and let’s keep it that way.” There is a need to broaden our vision.

However, if we are wise and good stewards of what God has entrusted to us, we ought to be reminded that one day, God will return and ask us to account for what we have done with what has been placed in our hands.  How then will we answer on that day?

As we seek God for wisdom and guidance to deliberate on the redevelopment of the church premises, we need to check ourselves whether we have the right Biblical attitude to make such an important decision.  None of the above three perspectives is exclusively wrong for they are God’s way of teaching us as we relate to Him and the world.  What we need to recognise as we look towards the future is that our predecessors raised money for Dunman and Tomlinson Halls as well as for the expansion of the sanctuary. They did this for our benefit today.  What will we leave behind to those who come in the next 30 years so that the preaching of the Gospel and Kingdom will continue unhindered?

Peter Poon