Matthew 6:21 says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” The late author/pastor/teacher Larry Burkett used to say, “Show me someone’s check register and I’ll tell you where his treasure lies.”
In verse 19 of Matthew 6, Jesus reminds us not to amass earthly wealth, and then in verse 20 He commends the use of personal financial assets for purposes which are heaven-focused or eternal.
This means that God didn’t give us personal wealth (that is, all the stuff we own, whatever its value) to make us happy, but rather to make us holy.
Scripture is clear that what we consider to be our assets, and even our ability to earn income, originate solely with God.
How you manage your personal wealth is mostly dependent on your understanding of who owns it and what your responsibility is to the owner.
If you believe your income and assets belong to you, then you are only accountable to yourself for the manner in which you manage them. If, however, you truly believe God is the ultimate source and owner of all your personal wealth, then you must hold yourself accountable to Him for the way you manage it.
In the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30), we are given an example of how believers might 1) view their relationship to the owner of their wealth and 2) what their response should be to his directive to them to manage it. In the parable, the owner or master of the household represents the Lord. The slaves/servants represent believers. In biblical terms, we usually refer to this as a stewardship relationship. A steward in the business vernacular of our day is best described as a fiduciary, one who is legally responsible for the prudent management of another’s property.
At the core, the Bible makes it clear that we are stewards of God’s assets. When we recognize that God is the true owner of our personal assets and that we are fiduciaries responsible for managing them, we should look a great deal different than the world in how we spend our money.