More Stories, Fewer Prooftexts, on Stewardship

Estate planning dominates this week’s Adult Bible Study Guide. Except for Sunday’s focus on the parable of the rich fool (Luke 12:16–21), there really isn’t much scriptural engagement beyond a string of prooftexts. The story of David’s influence on the temple—built after his death—bookends the best of the week’s biblical content.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://spectrummagazine.org/sabbath-school/2023/more-stories-fewer-prooftexts-stewardship

Where is the vision? If people see a vision for what can be, they will rally behind it and support it. The rich will typically throw big dollars at something they really believe in, and those not so well endowed will find ways of providing smaller regular amounts.

Thursday’s point 7 is a classic. It “demonstrates” that the heart of the donor has changed…". Really. If we are looking for a demonstration, doesn’t that sound a bit like the rich pharisee that gives his offerings so that all can see. It isn’t too dissimilar to point 4, witnessing a good example of family values and generosity. Generosity is apparent through the overall life of the person, whether they give of themselves freely to other people. If their generosity is largely through financial means, I would suggest that their generosity has more to do with buying influence, or having a guilt trip, than in genuine caring.

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Sometimes the best (and most appropriate) donation is time. We all have the same amount. Some choose to give “the green” because it is ‘easier’.

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I agree that this quarter’s lesson is dry spiritually and not easy to make very interesting as a teacher. It’s thought to teach a group of 20 year olds about wills and estate planning.

However, the point about stewardship being about more than $ isn’t a fair criticism. The sda church believes it deals with everything we have, time, talents, body, etc. it’s just that this quarter is focused on one area in particular.

I don’t know how they could have made this week’s lesson more spiritual, I know it’s not easy, but they had a tough task I think.

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