Are Mega-Wealthy Givers Good Stewards?

Each year, the Chronicle of Philanthropy publishes a list of the largest gifts given. We recognize some of the names, but perhaps not all of them. Sometimes the names are similar to the year before, but not always. To make the most recent list, the charitable gift had to exceed $175 million!

If giving alone is all that counts, then yes, I suppose they are. But if Biblical stewardship is the measure, we cannot tell for sure, though their gifts are obviously exceptionally large.

Christian stewardship is a framework, an understanding between two parties: the owner (God) and the steward-manager (Christ followers).

  • The steward recognizes his position – manager for God, the owner.
  • The steward follows the owner’s directives and intent. “Who then is the faithful and wise servant…Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing…he will set him over all his possessions.” Matthew 24:45-47 ESV
  • The steward manages for the owner’s best interest. “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus…” Colossians 3:17 ESV
  • The steward answers to the owner in the accounting. “Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.” 1 Corinthians 4:2 ESV

So, if giving away millions of dollars is done as an act of stewardship – for God’s ultimate glory and the advantage of the Lord’s kingdom – then that generosity is good stewardship. But so is the giving of the steward’s time, abilities, or even a cup of cold water.

Christian stewards growing in maturity give generously of all the resources God entrusts to them. But giving financial resources of themselves does not make one a Christian steward.

Living the giving life is learning to “…let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”  Matthew 5:16 ESV

May We Help You?

We have prepared a booklet which outlines opportunities and benefits available when you employ stewardship strategies beyond cash. It’s called A Practical Guide to Giving Generously – and it’s yours with no cost or obligation.  Download your free copy here.

© 2022 CDF Capital Foundation from the Lifestyle Giving Legacy files