Let’s Not Play at Stewardship
“‘Appreciation for divine mercy cannot take the price of redemption for granted; neither can it regard the purpose of redemption as a hobby. That heart will not play at stewardship’ (Robert Hochmuth, Initiated into the Secret of Enduring Prosperity [1965 essay], p. 4). If we really believe this, our commitment to raising up godly givers will be intensified, not marginalized.
“I am also more convinced today than I was 35 years ago that to teach money management is the kind of privilege that we must approach confidently, passionately, straightforwardly, and not at all apologetically or reluctantly. I tell students that there are certain subjects that they simply must ponder exhaustively, master thoroughly, and share winsomely – or they will ‘die a thousand deaths’ in contemporary pastoral ministry. Assaults on subjects like infant baptism and baptismal regeneration, church fellowship principles, gender roles and relationships in God’s world, and amillennial eschatology will surface frequently and often antagonistically. If we have not done our homework and allowed the Spirit to do his heart work in us, we will pay a big price and so will the people we are supposed to serve. But if we are thoroughly convinced that we are sharing divine truth and that God gave it in love, we see opportunities to serve rather than threats to be endured. And the subject of acquiring, managing, and giving money should be on this list of messages to be mastered and shared with eagerness. We are about the Lord’s business, using the Lord’s law and gospel with the Lord’s purposes in mind. When this reality is relished, our tone and attitude toward stewardship will improve and so will our ministry to souls in this vital area.”
Forrest L. Bivens. Seizing the Opportunities: Ways to Encourage Godly Giving. Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary Essay File. Page 2.