Are you a renter or owner?

“Therefore, my God, I give thanks and praise Your glorious name. All things come from You, and I can only give You what comes from Your hand” – 1 Chronicles 29:14

The world tells us to always own things, not rent.

We all know, renting is not wise financially for the long-term. Some people can’t afford to own things, like furniture, due to the need for a large sum of money at the time of purchase, so they rent instead. Of course, over time, they spend far more than if they had been able to purchase.

Our culture tells us we need to own things, we need to have them under our control. Owning is engrained into our thinking and rightly so. It’s smart from the perspective of this world’s economy.

However, in God’s economy, as usual…it’s all completely backwards. He says He owns it all. We are just using and experiencing things that He puts in our hands. So, in a spiritual sense, we are renters, not owners.

This is a major re-making of how I think. I am so accustomed to thinking that I own things and that my good work produced certain good things. This is just auto-pilot thinking for me and maybe for you too. My natural man / flesh doesn’t get this idea.

However, two words come to me as I think of this biblical principle:

Gratitude

If I see the relationships and possessions I have as coming from Lord, I become humbly grateful that I get to experience the people and things He gives me. However, if I think everything I have came from my own wisdom, wit and charm, then I tend to get prideful and worried about my “stuff”. But, if I acknowledge that the God of the universe gives me friends, skills, and abilities, then I become grateful and thankful to Him and I hold what I have from Him loosely, since it’s really His.

Care

If I am in temporary possession of things that God gives me, then I should care for them, since they don’t really belong to me. The Bible word here is “stewardship”. If I borrow someone’s boat to go skiing on the lake, I should care for it well, since it’s not mine. I should respect the person and his boat enough to bring it back in good shape (after I’ve had fun using it)! I will be held accountable for how I leverage and care for what God has given me to use.

So, as I enter into 2019, I want to (and need to) remember who owns what. I have a new business opportunity here in the Southeast that could be positive financially at some point, but I need to remember that it is God that prompted the relationships and skills that made this opportunity come my way. It wasn’t my genius.

No matter what I have, new business income or not….I want to be generous with and hold loosely the things He’s given me….relationships, money, time, energy.

Prayer

Lord, may I and all my friends be grateful for, care for and be generous with the relationships, skills, money, time and energy You give us in 2019. May we receive and cherish the things you give us freely from your storehouse – love, grace, kindness, truth, wonder – in this new year.

Psalm 50: 9-12 the Lord says – I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and the insects in the fields are mine. If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it.

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