If you missed the first part of Stewardship Baseball, catch it here.
We covered the first two bases of the stewardship diamond (Sharing Your Story and Affirming Others) in the first part of the series and we’ll finish the last two bases today.
What good is an article on stewardship if we don’t address money! Money is definitely one of the first things that come to mind when I think of being a ‘good steward’ but in reality, it just plays a basic role. I don’t have a good baseball analogy for money except for calling it one of the nine starters on the team. You can do a lot with eight players, but you’ll be at a disadvantage without a full team. In the same way, if you are a good steward at everything else but money, you’re at a disadvantage — so let’s look at the last two bases of stewardship.
3rd Base – Building Your Budget
Yes, we know it’s important to budget our monetary resources, but don’t forget about all the other resources we have: time, knowledge, education, our internal drive and motivation. A good budget will incorporate all of these and emphasize the following three T’s:
Time – By far, time is your most valuable asset. Without time, our money is worthless; time is the lifeline to building relationships. We’re all given the same amount of time each day, and cannot go back or rollover minutes for tomorrow.
Truth Telling – Your budget is guaranteed to fail if you’re not honest with yourself. This isn’t just about fudging numbers in your monthly budget or neglecting giving generously because you failed to budget your money. It spans to include the first T: time and how you spend it with your family, growing spiritually and growing in knowledge through education.
Tenacity – If you’ve made it to third base in the game of baseball, you don’t get a reward. It’s only when you reach home plate that you’ve completed the task. Your budget doesn’t end when you think you have things under control – that’s when it’s just starting! You need to be diligent and committed to using your time, money, and skills in a way that will foster better relationships around you.
Home Plate – Setting Your Goals High
If we don’t dream, we’ll become stagnant. Setting goals with your finances is one of the best ways to finally get ahead and out of the ‘paycheck-to-paycheck’ lifestyle. When we have a written goal to eliminate debt or build your emergency fund, we tend to focus on it more and have a much better chance of reaching financial freedom.
The same is true about managing your relationships. Dreams can also fuel relationships because it hinges on trust. If we can trust someone with our dream and lean on them for ideas and support, your relationships will naturally grow stronger.
This last base also hinges on accountability. Goals and dreams can fall apart if you don’t have support. Paul knew then when he wrote to the church in Philippi. In verse nine, Paul writes, “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.” Paul was their encouragement and support. When we have someone (or are that someone) to support our dreams and goals, we can become the steward that God designed for us to be.
How do you view stewardship? Is it just as much about relationships as it is about money? What do you think?
Tim is a personal finance writer at Faith and Finance a Christian financial help blog that provides financial insights for individuals, businesses, and churches. Outside of finance, Tim enjoys spending time with his wife, playing the saxophone, reading economics books, and a good game of RISK or Catan. Find him on Twitter and Facebook and subscribe to the Faith and Finance RSS feed.