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Ask Chuck: Stewardship tips for a happy New Year

Ask Chuck your money question

Dear Chuck,

Thank you for the lessons you bring us each week and how you tie them back to the Word of God. Please provide some tips to help my husband and me be better stewards in the new year ahead. 

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Stewardship Tips

Photo: Unsplash/Tessa Rampersad
Photo: Unsplash/Tessa Rampersad

Dear Stewardship Tips,

Thank you so much. My wife, Ann, helps me research and respond to questions each week. We are grateful for your kind words. We can share some of the tips that have helped us.

Pray, reflect, give thanks

I suggest you find a place and time that is free of distractions so you can ponder and pray deeply. Ask the Lord for help to reflect on the past year — to recall specific ways in which He has helped, guided, or provided in ways you never could have imagined. Hebrews 12 is an excellent way to begin the process of reflection. It reminds us to remember with reverence and awe how God provides and sustains us through the years.

Look back through your calendar or journal for prompts. There may have been days of deep sorrow or great joy. In both, we are told to give thanks because God uses them to sanctify us and conform us to His image.

Ann and I often refer to Lamentations 3:21–24 upon rising in the morning. We go back and forth, reciting the phrases. It is a good one to think about in reflecting over the past year: 

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.’”

It’s a valuable practice to recall the ways we experience God’s love and mercy and praise Him for His faithfulness. It enables us to look to the future with renewed hope.

A stewardship analysis: Money, motives, and management

Set aside a few hours and review your earnings, spending, giving, saving, and investing over the past twelve months. This will prepare you to do some analysis. Make a rough draft, then copy it in a journal or place that you can refer to in days/years to come. Access it frequently to remember God’s work in your life. Imagine keeping decades of reflections to pass down to loved ones. Don’t rush. In fact, you may recall things that you need to record in days to come. Your family may want to participate and share their reflections together.

  • What significant changes occurred in earning, spending, giving, saving, or investing money?
  • Are there areas where you need to improve or make adjustments?
  • Did you create any new debt?
  • Do you have a plan to pay it off?
  • Are you making financial decisions based on a temporal or eternal perspective?
  • In what ways did you experience God’s discipline, protection, love, and compassion?
  • What Biblical financial truth guided you this year?
  • What hard thing did you have to trust God with? What did you learn? How did you grow?
  • Is there anything in your life that needs to be surrendered? If so, transfer ownership now.
  • In what ways did you manage resources differently from other years?
  • What did you accomplish financially that you are especially excited about?
  • Did you make any lifestyle changes? If so, what? How did they impact your financial well-being?
  • Were you fully transparent with your spouse about money? If not, humble yourself and act on it.
  • Are there any poor uses of money that you should repent of and pray for strength to overcome?
  • Do you have wise counselors who give you honest advice before making large financial decisions? If not, who can you recruit to help you next year?
  • Is there someone — in addition to God — to thank for impacting your financial well-being?
  • What is a single financial goal for the New Year that you agree needs to be accomplished?

Give thanks

After reflecting on the year and God’s faithfulness, pause and thank God. The phrase “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever” is repeated in the Bible and should be repeated by us throughout our days. See 1 Chronicles 16:34; 2 Chronicles 5:13; Psalm 106:1; Psalm 107:1; Psalm 118:1, 29; Psalm 136:1; Jeremiah 33:11

Ask Him to guide you in the New Year

We all make financial mistakes, experience unwanted hardships, and need God’s wisdom to make progress daily. With every new year the Lord gives us to live, we can start fresh with renewed hope and dreams for serving His purposes as good and faithful stewards. For Ann and me, our financial journey started fresh after 21 years of marriage. For the past 24 years, we have been blessed to have seen God redeem us from so many mistakes early in our marriage and have the joy of learning and applying His financial principles. I hope you will look to Crown for resources to help you in this exciting journey. 

Happy New Year. provides many free resources, from budgeting to financial planning to family stewardship guidance to directions for career choices and many more. We would be honored to help guide your family in financial freedom and purpose in the new year.

Chuck Bentley is CEO of Crown Financial Ministries, a global Christian ministry, founded by the late Larry Burkett. He is the host of a daily radio broadcast, My MoneyLife, featured on more than 1,000 Christian Music and Talk stations in the U.S., and author of his most recent book, Economic Evidence for God?. Be sure to follow Crown on Facebook.

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