The bad steward

But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business… 1 Thess 4:10-11

Those who are busy-bodies, meddling in other men’s matters, generally have but little quiet in their own minds and cause great disturbances among their neighbours. -Matthew Henry

A thought has been occurring to me lately: Why do people think they can steward my money better than I can?

Imagine if I were granted the right to steward your money for you. Perhaps I’d make you buy cloth diapers. You can forget about that SUV; a used Cavalier will do. Don’t give me that nonsense about an easier way to ferry the kids home from school! You can cram three in the back of that Cavalier if you try. Your kids should be riding the school bus anyway (oh, I forgot, they will be going to public school because the private one costs too much). You can plan to start eating soy instead of steak, chubby. Also, your clothing will be furnished off the Old Navy clearance rack, and Old Shep will be dining on the cheapest 50lb bag of dog food that I can find.

Can you imagine being such an arrogant busybody, nannying the lives of other adults? Well, when we vote for a bond issue, or we support a new tax or a new government entitlement, that’s what we are doing. We are putting a claim on other people’s money. We’re reducing the money that they have available to steward for themselves. In effect, we are telling the government to spend other people’s money for them in accordance with our wishes.

How about we let people steward their own money instead, and let them be answerable to God for it?

I often do not steward my money wisely, but I can guarantee you one thing: I steward it more wisely than the government stewards its money. I’m not $100 trillion in debt, for example.

Granted, it’s not a very high bar to jump over.

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