For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. 1 Chr 29:14 ESV
Perhaps the biggest area of spiritual formation involves our stuff. I summarize my “stuff” in three key areas: my time, my money and my property. The key component to this aspect of spiritual formation is the realization that each of these (time, money, things), comes from God, and as such, I am truly just a steward of them. One day I will stand before the Lord Jesus and give an account for hos I managed the time, money and other property He entrusted to me. (I realize money is property, but it’s such a key aspect of our culture I break it out as a separate item).
For this reason, I try to weekly review my time, money and property in light of spiritual things. First, how am I managing my time? I’m sure you have heard that we all get the same 24 hours each day. Am I using that time wisely? Am I making the most of it? This brief weekly review gives me an opportunity to check my schedule and see if I am becoming overly scheduled or perhaps a bit lazy. I want to be a wise steward of the time God has given me. Secondly, I check my financial state. This includes my income, savings, debt, budget and so forth. Would I be proud to give an account of my finances to God? Part of spiritual formation is the gradual alignment of our finances with God’s values. Each week I check to see if I need to make small changes. Finally, I consider the rest of my stuff. Do I really need to purchase, rent or borrow anything else? Is there anything I can give away? Am I properly maintaining the things God has given me (especially cars, houses, etc.). Again, all of my “stuff” is on loan from God and designed to be used for His purposes. I take time to see how I can better use my stuff for God.
While my “stuff” category encompasses a lot, by taking a few minutes each week to reflect on it, I have the opportunity to make minor corrections. Perhaps I give something away, perhaps I tighten my budget, perhaps I manage my time a bit better. By making these small changes, I grow in my spiritual formation in the area of my stuff.