Prepping our Life's Platform
The family offers a unique platform for the learning and practice of human stewardship. There, individuals make crucial decisions, experience setbacks, and celebrate some exceptional achievements related to all aspects, including finances. Financial management within the family context contributes largely to the fulfillment of these words of Jesus: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10, NIV). These words of Ellen White further establish the close connection between family financial management and quality of life: “Many poor families are poor because they spend their money as soon as they receive it” (Counsels on Stewardship, p. 269).
Handling finances inside families also impacts the quality of partnership in God’s mission. These words describe a common scenario: “Many do not remember the cause of God, and carelessly expend money in holiday amusements, in dress and folly, and when there is a call made for the advancement of the work in home and foreign missions, they have nothing to give, or even have overdrawn their account” (Ellen G. White, Review & Herald, Dec. 19, 1893). Imprudent management impedes believers from the joy of being part of the final mission. Considering the far-reaching influence of family financial management on temporal and eternal well-being, the church is responsible for ensuring that family members are knowledgeable in finances. This issue of the Dynamic Steward pursues this finality from a biblical perspective.
A biblical account (2 Kings 4:1–7) highlights how the Bible recognizes the impact of financial issues on families and provides relevant pointers for believers to bounce back. In a nutshell, the story is about a family whose future was threatened by a financial setback. The father, who died, had contracted a considerable debt. The mother had limited resources to pay back the debt. The creditors came to request their dues. They decided to enslave the two boys if payment was not done at the set time. However, the story had a happy ending.
As with other biblical passages, our text provides insightful pointers for the journey from financial despair to life:
- Run first to God
The nature of the challenge was financial, but the widow chose to run first to the man of God.
- Acknowledge what you have received
The widow came to seek help; the prophet first led her to see what she had already received.
- Use available opportunities
They perceived their environment as threatful, but it offered some unique opportunities. Miracles happen when we use our God-given resources to take the available opportunities.
- Apply the rule of success
Nothing would have prevented God from flying the jars from the neighbors’ houses to the widow’s home, but the woman and sons had to put in their best efforts.
- Believe in God’s good plan
The number of collected jars reflected the faith of the single mother, and the miracle did not extend beyond the boundary of their faith.
- Always run to God
When jars were filled to the rim, the family chose not to go to the market to sell the oil, repay creditors, and enjoy abundance, but first to express gratitude and seek instructions about managing resources from the source of blessing.
Our contributors in this issue expand on these life principles and make insightful recommendations for God’s families to live life to the fullest.
Enjoy and invest in the upbringing of blessed families!