I remember very well the first time I earned money… I’m not talking about an allowance or money that I got for being part of the family, I’m talking about doing a job and receiving funds for the task that I completed. The first real job that comes to mind for the purposes of this conversation is when I spent a summer as a long-distance operator for AT&T. I imagined this as an opportunity to consider the company as a possible fit for me after I completed my education. They were good benefits, the starting salary was better than I had earned previously as a babysitter and I had a chance to see what it was like to work for a major corporation. We had time clocks that we had to punch in when we came into work and punch out when we left. Everything was formal and structured. There was a dress code and rules about how long we could work before taking a break. There were special guidelines regarding younger employees such as myself. I wasn’t allowed to work past 10 PM and a cab had to be provided for my ride home if I did work as late as 10 PM. There were break rooms where the operators (all female at the time) could take a nap during the breaks. It was the first paycheck in which I had taxes withheld, a painful experience for a young girl.
There were so many things that I wanted, this newfound wealth offered me the opportunity to start acquiring.
As the years passed and the number of jobs increased, the income also increased. Each time there were more things that I wanted, it seemed that I never had enough money to get everything that I wanted.
Now that I look back, with the benefit of experience and sound Biblical teaching, I realize there will never be enough. There will always be someone who has more, who earns more, who is perceived to “be more.”
Thankfully, as Christians, we know there’s nothing we can do to earn the love of Jesus Christ. It is freely received and freely given, (Matthew 10:8). The Bible tells us that “God so loved the world that he sent His only son to die for us so that we might have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
As I grew in my faith and became aware of the difference between stewardship and ownership, I found the desire to be generous and to be a wise steward with that which has been entrusted to me. (Matthew 25:15-30). I am thankful for the gift of eternal life that has been given to me, even though undeserved. I want to share some of what has been entrusted to me as an expression of my gratitude.
We are told that the Lord loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:6-7) It has been my experience that I have not been able to outgive the Lord, just as the Bible promised. (Luke 6:38)
I now question, “How much is enough?“ with the resources that are available to me. We live in a time of consumption and greed, it takes discipline and forethought to decide what to do with the bonus, the larger salary, and the unexpected windfall. Faithful stewardship becomes a way of life that offers a peace that truly surpasses all understanding. (Philippians 4:7)
Kathleen Hayes was born and educated in Florida. She earned a master’s degree in Communication from UCF.
She retired as a Managing Director with Merrill Lynch in 2018 after 38 years with the firm. Kathleen is a Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) and serves on the Advisory Board of the Nicholson School of Communication and Media / UCF.
Her favorite activities are those with her family and her three beautiful grandchildren.
There are many projects that interest her but the one that she likes the most is telling stories that help people understand what the Lord would have them do with Kingdom Assets.