Commentary: Does the U.S. government know anything about responsible stewardship?


I have a deep concern that the reckless spending of the federal government will plunge the next three or four generations into an abysmal debt. At age 83 the impact upon me will likely be incidental. However, it deeply concerns me that we are plunging future generations into deep debt and an unsustainable economy. The rapid escalation of our nation’s indebtedness thrusts us into a prickly predicament that we had better not sweep under the rug.

As a taxpayer, I have a keen interest in how our money is being stewarded once we send our federal income tax payment to the Internal Revenue Service or the U.S. Treasury. 

Many people recoil at the idea of a sermon or commentary on stewardship, and the federal government is not likely to relish the dispatch of this commentary, but the Bible has much to say about stewardship. In I Corinthians 4:2 the Apostle Paul writes: “Moreover, it is required of stewards, that a man be found faithful.” The word “steward” means “guardian” or “custodian.”

We are to be faithful custodians or stewards of our finances, our marriage, our family, our work, our world, our citizenship, our salvation, our spiritual gifts, and, yes, our very lives. The Bible’s constant message regarding stewardship is to be wise.

The parable of the talents in Matthew 24:14-30 illustrates the weight of responsibility and the seriousness of consequences placed upon the steward. Just as we are stewards of our finances, so is the federal government, specifically the Congress and the executive branch, steward of the money we pay in our taxes. According to U.S. Treasury fiscal data, the federal government spent $1.7 trillion more than it collected in 2023, resulting in a current deficit of $34.8 trillion.

Evangelist Steve Hale in his book Awakening Now or Never  writes, “If we were to pay one dollar every second of every hour of every day of every month to pay down our national debt, it would take almost 32,000 years just to pay off $1 trillion. Paying off $34 trillion would take 1,115,000 years. It would take more than 10,000 18 wheelers to transport 1 trillion $1 dollar bills.”

The national debt escalates just like a person’s financial profile becomes more of a concern when he uses a credit card for purchases, only pays the minimal amount each month, but continues to purchase items until he reaches his spending limit. The spending limit is a safeguard for the excessive spender, but it does not appear that the government has a spending limit. They just print more money, but that creates a problem of its own – inflation!

No one can point to one political party and claim that they are more responsible for increasing the debt than the other party. The Treasury Department data shows that the federal debt rose by $7.8 trillion on President Trump’s watch, and it is projected that debt under President Biden will increase by $7.902 trillion by the end of his current four-year term in office.

The $1.7 trillion, 4,000-page Pelosi-Schumer Omnibus Appropriations bill passed on Dec. 23, 2022, included $858 billion for defense, $787 billion for non-defense domestic programs and more than 7,200 earmarks costing over $15 billion.

According to Fox News, the bill includes $200 million for a “Gender Equity and Equality Action Fund,” which is designated to promote “gender programs in Pakistan,” and $286 million for Title X funding, which funds groups like Planned Parenthood.

Texas Rep. Chip Roy explained that the omnibus bill would funnel billions of taxpayer dollars to woke pet projects and millions of dollars to LGBT groups peddling radical gender ideology, and tweeted, “You won’t believe how ridiculous some of these earmarks are.”

North Carolina Rep. Dan Bishop remarked, “The bill includes $575 million for ‘family planning; in areas where population growth ‘threatens biodiversity.’” Some congressional leaders consider this earmarked allocation is not only a promotion of abortion, but an attempt to reduce population growth.

Dr. Fauci’s National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases was awarded $478,188 to inject hormones into male monkeys to transition them into female monkeys.

Furthermore, in recent years some of the government’s expenditures have not only been absolutely bizarre, but outright foolish. For example, the government spent over half a million dollars to study how cocaine affects the sexual behavior of Japanese quails.

Through the years, the earmarks of omnibus bills have raised eyebrows and ignited the ire of certain congressmen and citizens alike. While passing these bills may pander to the wishes of one or a few legislators and win their vote for the entire bill, it seldom helps the country as a whole.

Pray for God to grant good stewardship principles and divine wisdom to those who represent us in government.

Conversely, when you give your tithes and offerings to the local church you can be assured that your financial resources will be used to build up the family of God and reach unbelievers with the glorious Gospel of Christ. Churches have built-in structures of accountability and certain trustworthy individuals to see that your investment in the Kingdom of God is allocated according to the church’s budget.

Money given to the local church is distributed to God’s mission work in Georgia, North America and the world. We trust those who do the budget planning for each entity will use prayerful discretion in their allocation and disbursement of our tithes and offerings. Once we have obeyed the Lord as good and faithful stewards in our giving, we have fulfilled our responsibility to God. We must then trust God’s servants in each of our Baptist agencies to be good stewards and accountable for all the resources they receive from Billy and Betty Baptist.


J. Gerald Harris is a retired pastor and journalist who served as editor of The Christian Index for nearly two decades. You can reach him at