by Willie Thomas Butler
Planning Never Hurt Anyone
Within the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) are many important object lessons to be learned and embraced. Understanding your responsibility—and thus, accountability—before God for all He has entrusted to your care is, in my opinion, at the top of the heap. Like it or not, we will all give account one day for how we managed what we were given to nurture, preserve or increase for the Most High.
As a financial planner professional I have been more sensitive to our role as God’s stewards than most. What I have learned through decades of God’s teachings and what I have counseled others to do based on my own life-events and academic training have greatly informed my every financial decision. And, His teaching could not have come at a better time. With today’s economic challenges and financial uncertainties, life may never have been as challenging as it is at the moment.
Planning Is For the Rich and the Not-So-Rich
An ancient biblical proverb exhorts us to “Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, and look well to thy herds” (Proverbs 27:23). During a more agrarian era in human history, this passage would have seemed most appropriate for the conditions and experiences of working with livestock. Today, farmers, ranchers and agricultural businesses are probably closest to seeing how this passage might literally apply. But for the rest of us, it would help if we substituted the words flocks and herds with words like wealth, riches, business interest or resources. In that context the passage could read:
“Be diligent to know the state of your possessions [i.e., your wealth or riches], and look well at your business interest and other resources.”
Why is this important? Because there are two duties each of us have that stem from what we possess and have been given to preserve and, in many cases increase. First, we are accountable to the Lord, just as we see in the Parable of the Talents. When the master returned and called his servants together, it was so that each would give their personal accounting for what he entrusted to their care (v. 19). Second, we have a practical mandate from God, sometimes referred to as the Dominion Mandate (Genesis 1:28; 9:7), and we have a moral and spiritual duty to work, to be productive and to leave a legacy for our progeny. This is strongly encouraged in several Old Testament sayings such as: “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children…” Proverbs 13:22
To Whom Much Is Given . . .
Considering these represent two of life’s major responsibilities, would you be comfortable today with saying that you know the state of your possessions: that is, your wealth, riches, even your gifts, talent and ability? And, if asked to make an accounting of these today, would you be able to offer an update that might please the Lord?
If you answered no to these questions, don’t panic. There is still time to become knowledgeable and to learn how to manage everything to God’s expectation. It begins with learning to take inventory of your possessions and then making decisions on how each item should be uniquely managed. This process is what stewardship is all about. Stewards manage what is entrusted to them by others, and in this case, it includes the earth and everything in it (Psalm 24:1).
Based on these biblical truths, you may need to shift away from thinking you own, therefore can choose to handle your possessions your way. If this is how you think, then this is your wake-up call. Instead, you would be better off adapting the Kingdom view that you own nothing but are responsible to account for all that you possess. Such a shift will realign your core beliefs and values to understand how God thinks and what He requires of you, and it will make managing the Lord’s resources easier in the end.
LifePlanning Is Kingdom Planning
How can you gain the knowledge and understanding needed to be accountable? By letting the LifePlanning Institute help you. We are experts at integrating God’s instructions with state of the art financial techniques and practical skills training in wealth and financial management for everyday life. We have economic and sophisticated financial tools that can assist you in reorganizing every aspect of your life. All we ask is that you give us an opportunity to help you! You can visit us online at www.MyLPI.org or call me at (757) 447-3260 to schedule an appointment.
A Premier Kingdom Financial LifePlan should be dynamic, and it is accomplished through the gathering of diverse data while deriving useful information from it. However, you will not retain much of that that great information for very long without an effective presentation. Your Financial Health Checkup is your portal to accomplish just such a task, and this video demonstrates the ease of use of Your Personalized Financial Dashboard. To schedule your Financial Health Checkup today email Info@MyLPI.org, or call (888) 337-0345 ext 209, or (757) 447-3260.
You can also obtain a Free Copy of my latest eBook titled “Seven Keys to Living a Kingdom Life” (2013).
Whatever your preference is for support, please pursue an advisor or resource center that will help you prepare for the unknown. For, no one knows when the Master may return and ask for an accounting of His possessions...
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