Metaphysical Monday: Monetary Stewardship

By Seth Hecox on March-19-2012 | Filed under Articles | Tags : , , , | Share

Metaphysical Monday:  Monetary Stewardship

One aspect of biblical Christianity that doesn’t get very much attention is the discipline of stewardship.  So today begins a series of MM articles on what I like to call “Unsexy Biblical Principles.”

Stewardship is defined as “the responsible overseeing and protection of something considered worth caring for and preserving.”  With this definition, we can apply the concept of stewardship to almost all areas of life.  For instance, if you have skills at soccer, those skills were given to you originally by God and you are the steward of those skills.  So you should take time and effort to craft those abilities and hone those skills to achieve excellence.  You should utilize those skills to bring glory to God.

As it concerns music, I see two main implications of the concept of biblical stewardship.  One is for anyone making music and the other is for anyone enjoying music.

To those who make music:  Use your abilities to create excellent music.  Be creative.  Tell the gospel in a unique way.  Don’t muck about with the skills and desires that God gave you to make music.  If you can’t say with a clean conscience that what you’ve created is the best you can do and is excellent in your opinion, then work on it some more.

Now to the enjoyers of music, I have more to say.  Anyone that enjoys listening to music (or enjoys reading books or watching movies or enjoys any other artistic expression, really) should take care to spend a proper amount on the art you’re enjoying.  This includes both your time and money.  By this, I mean that getting the music you love for free when the creator of that music isn’t offering it for free is bad stewardship.  God gave you your money and God gave you your love of music.  Do you think that’s a coincidence?  Even though you may feel like you don’t have enough money, God has designed your circumstances so that you have the amount of money right now that He deems best.  So if you want to listen to a particular album, don’t withhold your God-given money.  Bless the creator of that album with your money!  There are many ways to do this and I’ll let you figure out how to make it happen.  I’m not here to set down a list of rules, but rather to outline what biblical stewardship is and how it applies to our music scene.

Now, there is also such a thing as spending too much money on music.  That’s the other end of the stewardship spectrum.  Being a good steward of the funds that God has given you also means not spending an undue amount on items that give you pleasure (music included).  If you find a giant chunk of your money going to the purchase of music and you see that you’re not tithing or supporting missionaries or paying your bills, then you should rethink how you’re budgeting your money.  Again, this is not a seminar on financial health or details in money strategy.  Just use common sense:  don’t take for free what’s not given for free and also don’t spend more than you ought on entertainment.

Ok, the last thing I’ve got to say to enjoyers of music is about time.  Be aware of the time you spend listening to music.  I won’t set down any guidelines here either, but I think it’ll be good for all of us to just be conscious of the time spent listening to music.  For some of us, it’s too little (I’m thinking of my mom here, who doesn’t listen to music at all except in church).  For lots of us, it might be too much.  Only you can make that judgment call.  But remember, while the Holy Spirit may speak to you through great lyrics and great songs, He also speak through silence and stillness.  Set apart some time for Him to speak to you without any noise going on.  Be conscious and aware of the time you spend listening to music and the time you spend hearing from God through that music or through silence and stillness.

About the author Seth Hecox

I play music and write articles. I write the Metaphysical Monday article for IVM. I have a folk project due out later this year. I identify with the Reformed aspects of the Christian faith and I live in the Appalachian Mountains of North Georgia. Follow my musical life at facebook.com/sethhecoxmusic and my (lame) comedy life at twitter.com/sethhecox. View all posts by Seth Hecox

10 Responses to 'Metaphysical Monday: Monetary Stewardship'

  1. Excellent points here, Seth! I personally thrive on legal free downloads (especially ones featured here or on The Free Christian Music Blog) because at the moment, I have no job. :) But it is SUPER important to me that I NEVER download anything illegally.
    As both a singer and someone who enjoys music, I am passionate about making sure that I am a good steward of the voice that God has given me and the brain that He wants me to use by analyzing what I am listening to.

  2. Chandler A. says:

    Before I ask this question I just want to say that I have paid for almost all the music that I have. That being said, you mention books being another thing that you should spend a proper amount on if that’s what you’re into. Something that has always baffled me is the library. I agree that you should financially support authors as well. But if it’s illegal to put CD’s from the library onto your computer, why is it legal to read books from the library? I mean, the (current) authors must lose a lot of money because many people wouldn’t buy a book that they could just rent from the library. So I don’t see how that’s fair to authors.

    On another note, I really agree with your last paragraph. At one point for me I listened to music so much that it bordered on being an addiction. Sometimes it’s really hard to turn the music off and speak with God through prayer or really study the Bible, although I always find myself so much more satisfied and refreshed when I do those things.

    • Seth Hecox says:

      That’s a really good point about libraries! I actually was pondering the same thing on my way to the library last week. It does seem unfortunate for those authors. One difference I’ll point out though is that renting music is legal as well as renting books. You’re not supposed to copy a book (by xerox or otherwise) just like you’re not supposed to copy music. So while the laws regarding the two forms of art are similar, the nature of the enjoyment of that art is vastly different, which leads to our puzzlement. A book you might read once and then usually you’re through with it. With a CD, you usually want to listen to it lots of times. Thus there’s an incentive to copy a CD (plus it’s very easy to copy a CD) while there’s virtually no incentive to copy a book (plus it’s difficult to copy a book, just imagine hundreds of xeroxed pages laying around, haha).

    • JoshIVM says:

      There are multiple differences between filesharing & libraries. Here’s a few off the top of my head. Anyone can feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

      (1) Libraries purchase books & licenses in order to loan out books. The key point is they lend, they do not give you a copy to take with you forever if you choose.

      (2) A library is local & file-sharing is potentially unlimited in scale. Each local library or group of libraries must purchase the appropriate amount of books to keep up with demand. If there’s great demand they will purchase more copies. The library can only loan out one book at a time unless it purchases many books. This is not applicable in regards to file-sharing.

      (3) A book cannot easily be copied & disseminated like digital files. The file-sharer on the other hand basically creates an additional copy every time it is downloaded. This is the same reason that publishers are trying to limit the amount of times a library can share e-books.

  3. thruchristalone777 says:

    Interesting thoughts. I want to chew on them a bit more. Do you have any scripture references related to stewardship that you know of?

    • Seth Hecox says:

      The concept of biblical stewardship is based more on a total reading and understanding of scripture rather than specific passages, but I can give you a couple verse that pertain to good stewardship. The idea, though, rests in the fact that what God created was good and that what God created that we “own” was given to us by God. Pertaining to that concept is Christ’s parable:

      “For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’ But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed. ‘Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’ For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

      Some other passages that relate to this subject are:

      -Ecclesiastes 11:2
      -Proverbs 6:6-8
      -Proverbs 27:23
      -1 Corinthians 16:2
      -Luke 14:28-30
      -Luke 12:42-44

      There are many others, but those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

    • thruchristalone777 says:

      Awesome! I’ll be sure to read through them when I get home tonight.

  4. I so agree with you on these points, Seth! It is super important to me that I do not download music (or anything else!) illegally. As both a singer and a person who passionately loves music, I want to use both my voice and my brain for the glory of God. By ‘my brain’ I mean the way that I analyze music…and listen to music…period.

  5. Tim says:

    Glad to be part of a church over here in the UK that has regularly talked about our stewardship as an integral part of our discipleship journey through life!

    Bless you for bringing fresh insight about how this relates to music creation and consumption. Really challenged about the making music thoughts. Thanks Seth for another insightful blog

Comments closed.

SEARCH

HOT RIGHT NOW

Future Ideas For IVM: Album/Artist Database

Get your IVM clothing now!

RECENT COMMENTS

REVIEWS | INTERVIEWS

IVM POLL

  • Which album(s) are you picking up this week?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Polls Archive