Renting vs. Owning

“It is not my business I’m running, it is not my staff that I am leading, it is not my church, or my house, or my car, or even my child. Everything belongs to God. The whole earth is His.” Remember this from last week’s note? I can’t get this idea out of my mind… For the entire decade+ of Tim’s and my marriage, we have been fixing up homes. Every house we’ve bought has been a fixer-upper, and we have made it our main hobby to restore and improve spaces in our spare time. This hobby started in Iowa when we bought our first house, an 1862 Mississippi river home with lots and lots of charm and work. Since then, we have restored a couple of tri-plexes in the Highlands, one single-family home and a condo.

Now we are renting the church parsonage (the house that goes with the church property), and we’ve invested heart, energy, and time into fixing up that space too.
We don’t own the house we live in, but I can honestly say that I am happy to be working on it.

Our culture seems to believe that if you’re renting, you can kind of trash the place, whereas if you own it, then you need to take care of it. Sometimes our culture even looks at relationships this way. We have an idea that in some cases, we’re free to be haphazard and careless with what has been entrusted to us.

But in God’s economy, everything belongs to him, so whether I rent or I own, whether this is a short-term situation or a long-term commitment, I am a steward of anything He has provided. I may not “own” the house I live in today, but I am no less accountable before God to care for and develop it. Everything belongs to God. The whole earth is His.

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