Glorifying God Through Our Work - Ownership - by Aaron Eppard
It’s no mistake that the first principle of how we can glorify God through our work is also the first principle discussed amongst the six transcendent planning principles, which is ownership. If the understanding is that God owns it all and that we glorify God through imitating His character. Then our perspective of ownership, the level of responsibility we take associated with that, can be associated with our very view of God. The first rebuttal we can give to the argument that God did not intend for us to have ‘ownership’ of possessions could be opposed by offering that if He did not intend for us to do so, then He would not have given us the command to not steal. You cannot steal what someone else does not own, and something cannot be stolen from you if you do not own it. There is a distinguishing factor between what God owns, and what He has given us. We are co-heirs with Christ, and so we are stewards of God’s property. However, God has given us either through opportunity or inheritance, ownership of certain possessions. Not to get too academic or theological, but these items are things that expire (money, animals, etc.). The idea that either no one owns anything at all, or that everyone owns everything together is false. If no one owns it, no one is responsible. If everyone owns it, simply put, no one owns it. The overarching theme here again is that God is sovereign, but man is responsible. The characteristics of God’s nature that shine through His ownership are His sovereignty and His generosity. A bold, yet right in our faces, point to consider is that God did steward, and still stewards His possessions. Through His sovereignty and generosity, we find the opportunity to imitate Him in the same. His word counsels us in Hebrews 13:16, “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” Again, in Proverbs 3:9, to “Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce.” Produce will be the next subject we observe in how we go about generating such a thing via productivity. But first, I encourage you to consider how you can imitate God’s character through what you own. Once we understand what is required, our next step is to pursue the necessary discipline to make it more of our character. If you’d like to chat about ownership vs. stewardship, please give us a call!