Poverty Strongholds – Post #3 – Poor Stewardship
- Poor Stewardship
- Lack of Knowledge (common sense)
- Mind Sets (faulty thinking)
- Lack of Holiness
- Agreements with the Enemy
- Bad Theology
- Blaming & Excuses
- Refusing to be a Blessing
- Pain Upon Pain
Walking through these poverty strongholds we will begin with our second stronghold, Poor Stewardship. I’ll write a post on each of these separately, for I am realizing the depth of the material to explore.
Let’s Begin: Poor Stewardship
Poor Stewardship refers to the basic principle of being faithful with a little. From my own experience and observations this ‘faithful with a little’ is either a character strength or a character flaw. We either take care of the things entrusted to us or we do not.
The ability to be faithful with a little has nothing to do with what the little is or is not. Rather, a person either respects and values and takes care of what is being offered, what is right there, what has already been entrusted, or he or she does not.
When we lack forward movement in our lives it is wise to think about our current possessions, our current relationships, our current responsibilities and to ascertain if we are in fact doing all we are to be doing, within the context of these things.
Are we being responsible with what we’ve already been given? For the person unable to do this, their eyes and focus is on the next thing to come, the next shiny object so to speak. Unable, or unwilling, to focus on the present the person is living in the future. Their sight is on that perceived spot down the road yet they are not seeing the needs and responsibilities all around them.
Often, poor stewardship at its heart is a lack of gratitude; now is not sufficient, now is not enough, not right, and so we disdain the now. Poor stewardship is a bad attitude about the things we have; we do not take care of what we already have. We become flippant with the little and a bad habit is borne in our hearts.
To change our habits in stewardship we must make an intention to take care of what we already have. We must take our eyes and our longing off of the future and settle into what is now. This will take some time and much focus for we are retraining our thinking and actions.
And not only are we retraining ourselves, but we are establishing our faithfulness. And this takes even longer. I won’t lie to you. Becoming faithful in a little (when we have not been) is a lot of very hard work with the time required to establish faithfulness well past anything we might imagine.
There will be a testing. Will you remain faithful in a little even when it appears that there is nothing in it for you?
This is not just about caring for the things already entrusted to us, it is about the breaking down of our heart’s irresponsibilities and all of it’s bad motives and it is then a building up of a right heart towards life and what God has entrusted to us.
When I come across poverty mindsets it is always accompanied by this lack of caring for what has already been entrusted. The person may have a bike but does not care for the bike. A person may have a home and yet it is not kept clean or tidy. A family may have a garden and yet it is not utilized to its fullest, much of it is without produce.
1. The very first step to come out of poor stewardship is to confess this sin to the Lord. Recognize your full sin and the losses that you have established by your lack of faithfulness to the little. Then, tell the Lord about this. And ask for His help.
“God I come before you today in the name of my Lord Jesus Christ and I confess that I have not been faithful in a little, I have not been caring for what you have already been giving me, and I have been blaming you for this part of my life that has gone wrong. I am sorry. Today I say ‘No more’ to poor stewardship and I ask you to change my heart and mind and my life. Help me to become a good steward of everything you have entrusted to me. Amen”
2. Next, make a list of the things in which you want to be faithful. In your relationships, who do you need to be caring for? Are you children clothed and bathed and fed? What about your home — are there repairs that need to be made, is it clean, what little thing might you do today to be faithful in the care of your home?
In terms of money, do you owe money to anyone? What is your plan for paying that back? How about your ministry and the projects you have already begun — do not plan or think about further ministry projects until these ones are established and solid and self-sustaining. Work through your plans to a successful conclusion, do not leave projects half done.
Some things will take many small steps to make them right and to prove your faithfulness and your stewardship. If you realize that you have overstepped what you are able to do, maybe it is time to downsize and to simplify so that you might be successful with a smaller amount.
Know that you may be working at being faithful with a little for some time, years even. The longer you have been unfaithful with a little, the longer you have been a poor steward, the longer it will take to reestablish yourself and faithful.
Yet, enter into this for the long haul. Your life depends on it. There are no quick fixes yet a life established on faithfulness, particularly in the little things, will give birth to small steady increases throughout the years. This is the kind of person you want to be. Focus on the little, take care of it well, and by and by you will find yourself responsible for more, faithful with more.
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” 1 Peter 4:20
“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?” Luke 16:10-11
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,” Colossians 3:23
“Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it.” Proverbs 21:10
“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay.” Matthew 10:8
“Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy.”1 Corinthians 4:2
“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’” Matthew 25:23