Above all else#6. “Integrity and stewardship.”

Above all else#6. “Integrity and stewardship.”

It is nice to know that New Zealand enjoys the status of being “The Least Corrupt Country in the World.” It says good things about our small country.

It is amazing that some countries actually admire leaders who, in the mind of many, are corrupt. However, this admiration does tend to vanish suddenly when corruption is exposed. This is because much of the admiration is based on the corrupt person’s ability to maintain his position of power, even though being a crook.

Christians must have no part in this. There must not even be a hint of dishonesty associated with any of us or any of our churches.

When evangelizing the rough streets of New York in the 1970s a preacher asked the youth who their favourite TV preachers were. The young people scoffed, “We don’t watch them, they only want money!” Sadly, that about says it all.

People being people, you will eventually see unwise, and sometimes foolish, decisions made concerning church money. God knows the hearts of all, and we must be careful not to brand good brethren who make bad decisions as crooks. “Judge not…!”

Christian stewardship is about integrity. Get rid of the idea that Christian stewardship is centred around money, time, possessions, and opportunities; these are not the substance.

The substance is Christ and Him crucified. It is because of the cross that we are recipients of spiritual blessings. And with each blessing comes stewardship – to name a few:

*As saved, we call others to the Saviour.
*As made Christians, we think, talk, and act as He does.
*As filled with faith, hope and love, it blesses.
*As made brethren of Christ and each other, we glory in divine fellowship.
*As forgiven, we forgive as we have been forgiven.
*As made pure, we defile nothing.
*As enlightened, we humbly share the Word of God.
*As destined for heaven, we show others the way.

These blessings, and many others, develop true spiritual integrity.

Such a Christlike character longs to share all divine blessings—that’s the stewardship! Thus, in these hands, money, time, possessions, and opportunities become effective tools used in the spread of the Gospel.

John Staiger


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