After listening to Chip Ingrim podcasts for a few months, I am a huge fan. He recently told a story about money management that painted a really cool picture. Here is the abridged version:
When Chip was a young pastor, he was approached by a board member named John who had a heart for the poor and hurting. He told Chip "You have opportunity, and I have money. Here is a checkbook with $5000 in it. I want you to be my money manager. When you see someone with a need, use this money to take care of it. Then I'd like to have lunch with you 3-4 times a year and have you tell me what's been done." This relationship went on for 7 years. When they would meet for lunch, Chip would go through the entries and tell John how his money had been spent, to which John would reply "Praise the Lord!" Chip says that no matter how much he gave away, more money kept being put into the account. What were the results of this relationship? John and Chip became close friends. Chip was able to bring joy to John's heart and he was able to help people in ways he had only dreamed. Chip knew he would give an account for the money he spent, so he spent wisely...after all, it wasn't his money! Chip was simply John's steward.
My first thought was "I wish someone would give me a checkbook so I could bless more people!" But then I began to see the picture before me. I am God's steward. He has given me resources and has appointed me his money manager. When I use God's money wisely it can deepen our relationship, bring joy to God's heart, and give me the satisfaction of helping others. I should be careful how I spend my money, because it's not really mine to begin with and I will one day give an account of my decisions.
I knew this already, but I like having the picture to go along with it :)