As stated before, our Stewardship Coaching efforts are based on Ched Myers’ teaching on Sabbath Economics. We think the ancient wisdom incorporated in the teaching can be a fundamental basis to a financial life pleasing to God. Sabbath Economics can be summarized as follows:
- There is enough for everyone,
- Disparities in wealth and power are not God’s design, and
- The gospel calls us to a life working against said disparities and thus is good news to the poor.
Sabbath Economics is primarily based on the manna story in the Old Testament and Jesus’s teaching of the “lilies in the field.” The manna story is about the Israelites in the wilderness after leaving Egypt. As described in Exodus 16, the Israelites awoke to find the ground covered in a bread-like substance. God gave three instructions with respect to the manna:
- Each was to gather enough for their family – “whoever gathered little had no lack.” (Ex 16:16-19)
- The Israelites were not to store any manna. The gift was designed to move. (Ex 16:19 – 20)
- The introduction of Sabbath discipline. (Ex 16:22 – 30)
The principle of the Sabbath was further demonstrated with the teaching on the festivals, the “Sabbath year” (Exodus 23) and the Jubilee (Leviticus 25).
Much of Jesus’ teaching contains elements of Sabbath Economics, especially the famous account of the lilies of the field– “even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” (Luke 12:37). God is continually trying to wean us from feeling like we are responsible for our survival.
These accounts are examples of the abundance of God. They are examples of how we are to be generous as everything is a gift to be shared. And they are examples of God’s desire to release us from bondage – we only need to work six days a week and are not slaves to financial security, money (Mammon), or anything else.
This can be a hard teaching for a financial planner. Our projections are structured to account for as much as possible to ensure one reaches their financial goals. Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring. The ancient wisdom teaches us a better way. A way that does not make us slaves to the economics, frees from materialistic idolatry, and stresses what we all know deep down – relationships are more important than money.
In the coming weeks we will continue to attempt to flesh out this way of living. Like you, we are also on a journey. Though we feel we are somewhat proficient in the economics, living in God’s Sabbath is unnatural for all of us. Hopefully, we can journey together.
We like to keep a face-to-face connection with all of our clients and have the ability to do video sessions via the computer. If possibly more convenient, we think the video sessions are worth trying. Video sessions are easy to set up and we can walk you through the process. We would even be happy to help you buy the camera! Just let us know.
Take our stewardship coaching self-assessment which can be found at http://www.wfrplanning.com/stewardship-coaching
 Ched Myers The Biblical Vision of Sabbath Economics