A Few Quotations on Stewardship

“You shall have no other gods.”  That is, you shall regard me alone as your God.  What does this mean, and how is it to be understood?  What is it to have a god?  What is God?  Answer: A god is that to which we look for all good and in which we find refuge in every time of need.  To have a god is nothing else than to trust and believe him with our whole heart.  As I have often said, the trust and faith of the heart alone make both God and an idol.  If your faith and trust are right, then your God is the true God.  On the other hand, if your trust is false and wrong, then you have not the true God.  For these two belong together, faith and God.  That to which your heart clings and entrust itself is, I say, really your God. 

Martin Luther, Large Catechism, 1:1-3 

Money should be a servant, not sovereign.  To put it very briefly, God does not want us to serve money and possessions.  Nor does He want us to worry.  But He does want us to work and leave the worry to Him.  Let him who has possessions be the master of these possessions.  He who serves is a servant and does not have the possessions, but the possessions have him.  For he dare not use them when he wants to; nor does he dare serve others with them.  In fact, he is not bold enough to touch the stuff.  But if he is master of the possessions, the possessions serve him, and he does not serve them.  He, then, may use the possessions, as Abraham, David, Job, and other wealthy people did.  When he sees a man who has no coat, he says to his money: Come out, you Mr. Gulden!  There is a poor naked man who has no coat; you must serve him.  Over there lies a sick man who has no refreshment.  Come forth, Sir Dollars!  You must be on your way; go and help him.  People who handle their possessions in this way are masters of their possessions.  And, surely, all folk who are saving much money and are forever scheming how to make pile larger and not smaller are servants.  

Martin Luther 

The table fellowship of Christians implies obligation.  It is our daily bread that we eat, not my own.  We share our bread.  Thus we are firmly bound to one another not only in the Spirit but in our whole physical being.  The one bread that is given to our fellowship links us together in a firm covenant.  Now none dares go hungry as long as another has bread, and anyone who breaks this fellowship of the physical life also breaks the fellowship of the Spirit.  

—Dietrich Bonhoeffer 

Never work just for money or for power.  They won’t save your soul or build a decent family or help you sleep at night.  

Marian Wright Edelman, The Measure of Our Success: A Letter to My Children and Yours, New York: Harper Collins, 1993

You awaken to a new day.  Each day, each hour is a gift from God.  Why not begin each day with the holy writer and say: “This is the day which the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.”  Each day is, without question, a special gift.  Don’t waste it.  Invest it as best you can and be grateful.  

Cecil H. Skibbe