I once read a story when I was younger, about a bunch of industrious ants and a freeloading grasshopper. The basic premise was that the ants worked all summer while the grasshopper played and did no work. When the winter time came, the ants were able to sustain themselves with the produce they worked for all summer, while the grasshopper was left in the cold. In one version of the story, the ants let the grasshopper share with their bounty and the grasshopper learns his lesson. In another version the ants are partying so hard that they do not hear the grasshopper knocking on the door and he dies.
On that note......I have to say that this post has so far, been the hardest one to start...I am not sure why. However the topic this week is stewardship. I guess the reason this post is a bit slow in starting is that there is so much to say about stewardship. So much in fact that perhaps I will have to revisit the topic a few times. In short, stewardship is taking care of everything that God gives us. If we consider that everything we have has been given to us by God, then things start to take on a whole new perspective.
This includes both time and money. The first question I usually get when people find out that I have seven kids is "are you done?" or some question of the sort...the second most asked first question is "WHY?"
After the slight moment of awkwardness that usually follows, the next question they ask is "how do you afford all those kids?" to this question I usually want to ask, "WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU SPENDING YOUR MONEY ON???????"
Seriously, I have no idea how people say that they can not afford more than one or two kids!! ESPECIALLY when so many of those families have both parents working!!! Someone once told me that you either trust God or you don't. But even if someone doesn't have such faith in God that they can tell a mountain to cast itself in the sea (Mt 21: 18-22), most people do not realize the things that they waste their money on.
Let's do the math:
According to salary.com, the average entry level salary for an administrative assistant is $35,000 a year.
Let's say someone enters the work force at 25, and retires at 65 with a salary of $80,000 a year (which I know is considered still pretty modest for some) at what time will the train traveling eastbound meet the car heading westbound......sorry, had a flashback to first year calculus there.....
Seriously though, over the course of that persons career, they will have earned an average of $50,000 a year, over forty years.
$50,000 x 40 yrs = $2,000,000!!!
So over the course of a forty year career, a person will make TWO MILLION DOLLARS!!! The question is, what will they have to show for it?
Financial stewardship is all about thinking twice before spending that dollar. But before you get the idea that financial stewardship is about not spending any money, let me clarify a few things:
First, financial stewardship is about spending money wisely, not not spending, for example, sometimes it is more wise to spend a little bit more for better quality than to save a few dollars buying something that is not going to last very long.
Second, sometimes NOT spending money at the right time is WORSE, like trying to save money by not getting an oil change....for three years....
And finally, financial stewardship means spending money you HAVE, as opposed to money that you don't have.
Well that's enough math for now....too many numbers makes my brain hurt.
Next time I will talk about a HUGE money saver......and how we get our daily bread.