Becoming God’s Asset Managers
Jesus Christ had a lot to say about assets. One good example of this, is Luke 19:11-27. In fact, about a third of His discourse in the gospels is about money. Now, evangelicals are quick to emphasise the dangers of covetousness, of loving money. That is certainly valid, but it is only a part of what Jesus had to say about money.
There is another extreme in relation to money, to that of covetousness, and that is being indifferent to it. “Oh well, it’s only money,” some will say. In relation to someone about to die in a moment, it is certainly not that important. But indifference to money has another component, too. That is, not being diligent about its use, preservation or protection. That is neither God-honouring or good.
We are all called to be asset-managers for Jesus Christ, and it doesn’t matter if we have a small amount, or a lot. He expects us to be faithful, regardless of what we have been given, and He promises that the faithful stewards will be granted more to look after, whilst poor stewards will have what had been given to them, taken away. What are you like at handling Jesus Christ’s assets? He is called the “heir of all things” (Heb.1:2).
Historically, governments have not been very good at handling assets. There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, few governments in history have had a serious perception of their responsibilities before God.
Secondly, tax-payers’ money is just that: somebody else’s. If it diminishes quickly, well, “that’s life.” Governments don’t care, because it isn’t theirs. A good example of this occurred recently.
Gordon Brown, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, decided to sell half of Britain’s gold reserves in 1999. He got around $260 an ounce over the next year. He bought euros. He was imitated by most other central bankers, including the biggest idiots of all, the Swiss National Bank…
The biggest loser is the Swiss National Bank which sold 1,550 tonnes over the decade and at today’s gold prices is $19 billion poorer, followed by the Bank of England, which is $5 billion poorer.
These people were twits. They had no personal incentive to be smart investors. It was not their gold. It was gold their predecessors had confiscated in 1914 from commercial banks, and had never returned… They are blind idiots. Jesus warned against the blind leading the blind into the ditch. We are seeing it today.1
Thirdly, most people in their sinful folly, tend to judge governments by how much money they are spending, and governments believe this, so they are very often happy to “throw it around.” They believe that it “stimulates the economy,” so it looks impressive. After all, they are doing something!
Stewardship doesn’t rank very highly amongst the community, so it doesn’t get too much of a mention amongst government. So, “people get the government they deserve.” There is always a correlation between a people’s attitudes, and who they elect.
What’s the lesson in all this, for us? Don’t expect governments to do a good job with your money. They love to spend it. They think it’s their job to do so, quickly. But every dollar they spend will have to come from you and I. So, Christians should always be out to elect governments that don’t make expensive commitments, that want to cut taxes and expenditure, and that seek a balanced budget.
Is that hard? That depends on the politicians, but more than that, it depends on the voters. Politicians listen to voters. Have they ever heard from you? That just might be a part of being salt and light in the community.
The less they spend, the more we keep. The more we keep, the more we have to pay our bills, and to contribute to the needs of others. Paul said of the other apostles, “they only asked us to remember the poor-the very thing I also was eager to do” (Gal.2:10).
If Christians begin to take up the responsibility of the needy in the community, it will commence the process of taking the ground from under government “welfare.” Then we’ll really see some impact of the gospel in the community: godly people, using their assets wisely.
God bless you as you learn to serve Him, economically.
1 Gary North, “The Economic Stupidity of Central Bankers,” his website, 11/5/09.