Let me share a little secret with you. Everyone has problems allocating resources. Stewardship is the wise investment of scarce resources. Bill Gates, Walmart greeters, and everyone else on the planet has limited resources. Resources include time, energy, cash, passion, and ability. Some folks are long on cash but short on energy. Others have ability out the kazoo but lack the passion to put it to work.
Remember this commercial tagline for a popular juice? After smacking himself in the forehead the actor exclaims, “I could have had a V-8!”
Regret comes from poor investment of resources
The emotion expressed in the V-8 commercial is regret—wasted opportunity. Evidence of a wrong choice. Misusing scarce resources.
Most of us would love a few do-overs. Like the 23 bargain-buy shirts that somehow never got worn more than once. It would be great to have a clean closet and fatter wallet with no greater investment than an I Dream of Jeannie nod, but life doesn’t work that way.
God requires us to be good stewards over everything He’s provided. From time to talent and cash to commitment. He’s watching.
“The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.”—Proverbs 21:5
You can only spend minutes and dollars once. Every moment that passes is gone forever and once a dollar leaves your pocket it’s history. There may be more where that came from, but the unique investment opportunity of that buck has passed.
Stewardship and Investments
Stewardship is intentional, but you can’t be intentional unless you’re aware of how you use your resources. There’s a difference between spending and investment. Spending gets you something you want right now but don’t necessarily need. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, unless what you spent left a need unmet.
Investment applies resources towards bigger goals:
- Supporting important relationships.
- Family unity.
- Providing for a rainy day or retirement.
- Sowing into your faith community.
- Being part of a group to accomplish more than you could on your own.
Investment always seeks a return. It’s a plan to make more from less over time.
Stewardship is wise investment. Spending is for a moment. Investment is future oriented because it anticipates a return.
“Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.'” —Matthew 25:20-21
How do you allocate your scarce resources of time, energy, and finances?
The first step is being intentional. Know what you expect in return for your minutes, your passion, and your pennies. Sometimes spending a couple of bucks on a yummy dish of frozen yogurt is precisely the right choice. Solomon encourages us to enjoy what we have.
No one has more time than you do. Everyone begins with the day with 1440 minutes. Use them well.
Whether you’re a human dynamo (send me your diet and exercise tips) or someone with limited energy, budget it well. We constantly make choices of how to use what God’s given us.
Be aware and intentional. Be a blessing.