by FMF Financial Services
Over the next six months, we invite you to travel with us on the Stewardship Well Done Journey. Many Christians only associate stewardship with tithing to their local church, but that is just one small part of a more holistic definition that ultimately impacts our entire life. Each of us has resources God has entrusted to our care. Whether we have little or much, it all comes from God and He calls us to manage it well. The Stewardship Well Done Journey is a biblically-based financial roadmap that can lead from a mundane, legalistic view of stewardship to the realization that wise stewardship leads to freedom and joy in Christ.
The first step on the Stewardship Well Done Journey is priorities: Determine what life priorities matter most to you. These priorities will help narrow your focus and steer each of the other steps in the right direction.
Does this surprise you? If you are like me, you might have guessed creating a budget would be the first step. But the journey must begin by deciding the destination. If you don’t know where you are going, chances are, even with the best intentions, you are going to take a detour along the way. Having your life priorities clearly in front of you guides each future step. King Solomon put it this way, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take” (Proverbs 3:5-6, NLT).
Unfortunately, in today’s world, there seems to be a consistent drift away from what really matters in life. Slowly over time, our best intentions often become distorted by a wide range of influences. The tyranny of the urgent reigns supreme. Most of us yearn for excellence, alignment, and fulfilment but we often find ourselves being complacent, confused and frustrated because we fall short of all we can be.
It has been said, “Your priorities aren’t what you say they are. They are revealed by how you live.” You may think you know your priorities, but what does your life say? Your calendar and your spending habits are two great indicators of your priorities. Would you be embarrassed at the priorities someone would discover if they saw your daily planner or your bank statement? What would three friends who know you well say your priorities are?
Determining your life priorities doesn’t happen by chance. It takes thoughtful prayer and careful thinking. But it doesn’t need to be an unpleasant task! Jesus clearly defined the first priority when He said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God,” and “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment” (Matthew 6:33 and 22:37-38, NIV). Once you have fully surrendered to the first priority, begin the process by thinking of the people that mean the most to you. Think of your hopes, dreams, and those things that quicken your heart. Think of the gifts God has given you and who He created you to be at your very core. Think of the things that excite you, that you are passionate about, and what you simply can’t live without.
Author Rick Warren once stated, “Personal fulfillment, satisfaction and meaning can only be found when we realize that it’s not about us and we discover our purpose by figuring out what on earth we are here for.” When life priorities are defined, they provide guidance at every fork in the road. Without these priorities in place, critical decisions are often based upon urgent, shifting, less important factors which can lead to regrets about “what might have been”. Commit to clarifying your purpose and determining what life priorities matter most. It is the first, and perhaps the most important, step on the Stewardship Well Done Journey. +