I’m starting a series I’m titling the Foundations of Christian Stewardship. This series will codify what I believe to be the foundational passages and principles for Christian Business Owners to adopt and follow if they are going to be faithful stewards of the business that God has given to them.
The first foundational principle is this:
God owns everything.
Corollary: We own nothing.
The Scripture that teaches us that we own nothing and God owns everything are numerous:
Psalm 50.10-12: for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and the insects in the fields are mine. If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it.
Deuteronomy 10.14: To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it.
Exodus 19.5-6: Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.
1 Corinthians 10.23: …for the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it…
Psalm 24.1: The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters
Job 41.11: Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me.
Psalm 89.11: The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth; you founded the world and all that is in it
There are over a dozen more passages like this in the Bible. God owns everything and we own nothing. Regardless of our current legal systems which bestows on us ownership of material goods, in God’s economy, we’re merely stewards of that which he has entrusted to us.
I think there are several applications:
- Any wealth that we create through business is not ours to spend as we see fit. Instead, we should be asking God how He wants this wealth utilized.
- Our business is to be managed as well as possible. Our overriding goal should be to fulfill the four purposes that God has established for business: Passions, Products, Profits and Philanthropy
- Our identity, self-worth and security should be found in our relationship to God as His steward, not in our temporal positions as a business owner
- We should hold our businesses with an open hand, being willing to give up ownership should God call us to other entrustments