May 18, 2011

Financial Accountability

Written by Wisdom Hunters

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- May 18, 2011

“We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man” (2 Corinthians 8:20-21).

Financial accountability is first and foremost in the eyes of an organization with integrity. This especially applies to gifts made in the name of the Lord to a church or ministry. There is a high standard of fiduciary responsibility for those who name the name of Christ in how they handle cash. It’s not cavalier money managers, but conscientious ones who come out with the best reputation in regard to wise financial management.

What checks and balances does your church have in place to protect you from fraud? Do the ministries you support have an audit by an outside firm to assure impartial oversight? These are basic bottom line best practices that protect everyone involved. Naïve trust without accountability—as it relates to money—can lead to mismanagement of funds.

Wise money management doesn’t do just enough to get by, but it goes the extra mile to avoid any criticism in the misappropriation of funds. There is a solemn commitment to steward well the Lord’s resources. Churches and ministries that highly value stewardship, go to great pains to put in place leaders of integrity—who manage money with integrity.

How are your personal finances? Has God blessed you materially and with money? Do you represent Him well, as His money manager? Is there a financial professional full of character that looks over your shoulder, as an accountable second set of eyes? Secretive financial practices invite suspicion, while full financial disclosure offers clarity.

If you are a married couple—financial ignorance is not an option. One spouse may manage the finances, but the other one needs to understand their financial status and they both need to hold each other accountable. Most families and organizations do not complain of too much financial accountability, but many get in trouble where it’s lacking.

Therefore, whether at work, home or church, implement financial processes and policies that provide ongoing accountability. God will bless with more those who manage well. It’s passing the small tests in financial accountability that affords you larger opportunities later on. Honor the Lord and man by taking pains to be financially accountable.

“Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things” (Matthew 25:23a).

How can I be a catalyst for financial accountability at work, home and church?

Related Readings: Judges 17:2; Amos 8:5; 1 Corinthians 16:1-4; Matthew 27:3-5

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