We talk about staying on the road toward prudent stewardship a lot on Prudent Money. Here are 5 key elements of doing so:
1. Commit to daily surrender and living a Matthew 6:24 life.
Surrender and commitment are at the foundation of a life of prudent stewardship. Why a Matthew 6:24 life? You can only be the prudent steward that God wants when you place God as the number one priority. Christ was very direct by saying that you can only have one priority in your life. He was even more direct by pointing out the struggle for that priority will between money and God.
2. Get your debt under control and paid off once and for all.
This is crucial to your journey on the road to prudent stewardship. God wants us to be truly committed and FREE to follow His will for our life. Debt robs us of that freedom. The obligation to pay back that debt places a limitation on our freedom. Debt can occupy our mind through stress and worry. It can restrict our freedom to give because of making those monthly debt payments. Debt is a reminder of our past. Without debt, you have complete freedom to go and do what God instructs.
3. Know where the money is going.
Tracking your spending is key when it comes to being a prudent steward. Each month you have a limited amount of resources that will get you through the month. It is almost impossible to tithe, to give, or to save, without knowing your obligations. Without a good handle on your spending, you risk putting yourself in a "too much month and not enough money situation." It is at that point that debt is created. If you don't have the money, it goes on the credit card. Finally, if you really want to know what you value the most, look at your credit card and bank statement. Our values follow our spending.
4. Take only prudent risks.
Taking risk is always a part of any prudent steward's life. It is smart to use risk to your advantage. However, it is only smart when you are taking a prudent risk. A prudent risk is not a gamble. It is a well thought out calculated decision. A risk is investing into something that you don't understand in the hopes that it will grow your money. A prudent risk is investing into something that you understand and are comfortable with the pros and the cons. With every risk you take, there is the probability of reward. A prudent risk is one where there is a higher probability for a reward. Remember the decisions to take risk affect God's money. This isn’t your money you risking.
5. Pray before making any decisions when it comes to money.
If you want to make effective decisions with money, pray about every decision that you make and don't move forward unless you receive only the peace that God can give. Really, we just make things so hard by not including God in the process. It only makes sense to include God...after all, it is His resources. We are only instructed to be prudent stewards over it. Wouldn't you be more confident in your decision making ability having the King of Kings directing your decision making?