Spiritual Cents: Faith & Finances for Teens TEACHER EDITION


Everything Comes from God

TEACHER NOTES: Before the session students read and answer questions in the Everything Comes from God section.

Students complete the Go Deeper exercise: Go through your room and collect things you no longer use that are in good condition. Find an organization that could use those items and donate them.

Faith Focus: Understand that everything comes from God who is the source of all things.

Key Verse: Deuteronomy 10:14

Objectives - Students will be able to:

  • describe how everything comes from God 
  • explain the three areas of stewardship: time, talent and treasure 
  • define what it means to be a steward

PRAY

TEACHER NOTES: Have one of the students open the session with a voluntary prayer or have the group recite a memorized prayer such as the Our Father

EXPLORE

TEACHER NOTES: Open the discussion with a brief review and summary of key points in the readings for this session:

This week the readings explained that everything we have is a gift from God. We are simply the stewards of the blessings he has given to us.

We are called to be good stewards of all our blessings by using our time, talent, and treasure to help others and to serve the Lord. 

As a high school student, you may or may not have heard very much about the concept of stewardship. By definition, stewardship is the management or care of some else’s possessions.

Catholics consider stewardship to consist of three parts, which are time, talent, and treasure. We can each use our time, our talents, and our treasures to bless one another and serve the Lord. True stewardship is an appreciation for what we have, realizing that everything is a gift—a blessing that God bestows on us.

In the Bible, there are over 2,500 verses that relate to stewardship. A careful look at a few Bible verses will help you discover that nothing really belongs to us. Everything comes from God.

Read 1 Chronicles 29:11-12, Psalm 50:10-12 and Haggai 2:8 and answer these questions:

Q1: What does God own?

TEACHER NOTES: Everything - riches, power, cattle, beasts, birds, the world and all that is in it, the silver and the gold.

Q2: Think about everything that is part of your life—your home, family, friends, and talents. Also consider the material things you have—clothes, computer, phone, sports gear, etc. Can you identify anything that did not originate from God?

TEACHER NOTES: If they name something that did not originate from God, help them trace that thing back to God:

EXAMPLE: “My car did not originate with God.” Where did you get the car? “I bought it.” How did you get the money to buy the car? “I got a job and saved money.” Who gave you the skills to get the job?

Q3: What are some ways you can recognize God's ownership?

TEACHER NOTES:

  • change pronouns and use the word “the” instead of “my” or “mine” 
  • say a prayer of Thanksgiving each day in appreciation for everything I have
  • memorize a Bible verse about God’s ownership

Think about getting a gift from your grandparents. They are trusting that you will appreciate the thought and effort they put into getting the gift for you and you will take good care of it. In other words, you will be a good steward of it.

In a similar way, God has given you the gift of life as well as everything that exists in this world. As a good steward, you are called to appreciate it and take good care of it.

Q4: How can recognizing that everything is a gift from God change your perspective?

TEACHER NOTES:

  • taking better care of what we have 
  • being more thankful for what we have 
  • not wasting things 
  • sharing with others

In our secular world, there is a constant rush to acquire the latest thing without having a clear understanding of what it means to be a good steward of our new possession. We might get the newest and the shiniest thing just so we can say we were the first one of all our friends to have the newest and shiniest thing.

Just because we have more or are the first to have the latest and greatest does not mean we appreciate what we have. When we are in a hurry to acquire more and more things without really appreciating what already own, we are being materialistic. Anyone can be materialistic, by continuing to buy more and more stuff without regard to how they will take care of it or if they really need it.

Materialism can be summed up in a quote attributed to Will Smith, "People buy things they don't need with money they don't have to impress people they don't like." 

Q5: Do you want to buy things you don’t really need in order to impress other people? How do you think owning things will impress other people?

TEACHER NOTES:
  • Personal worth is not dependent on owning things and no matter how much they have some people will never like them
  • There will also be people who will always like them even if they have nothing
  • Someone who only likes you for your stuff is not a real friend

Talent is another part of stewardship. In Biblical times, a talent was a form of money. Today we use the word talent to mean our skills or capabilities. The time part of stewardship is how we decide to spend the 24 hours a day God has given us.

Perhaps you have an affinity for taking care of children and have established yourself as a reputable babysitter. You may have taken time to add to your credentials such as attending CPR/First-Aid training or babysitter certification classes.

These little extras boost people's confidence in your ability, your talents and in return, people will pay you for your time. People may pay you more or less depending on a variety of factors, but you will begin to earn a little money in exchange for your time. You are using the talents God has given to you to earn money. It is very important to understand the relationship between time, talents, and treasure in order to become a faithful steward.

Maybe your talent isn't in the area of childcare, but you would still like to earn some extra money during your summers or on weekends. You ask your dad to show you how to use the lawn mower and weed trimmer so you can start a lawn-mowing business. Once people take a chance on you, if you do the job well, they be willing to pay you for your work. They will also be more likely to recommend you to others. This is another way God bestows his blessings upon you as you use your time and talents as an opportunity to become a faithful steward.

In each of these scenarios, God will give you opportunities to demonstrate good stewardship. Once you are given a chance to show you can do a good job, whether it is by babysitting or mowing lawns or some other type of work, it is up to you to continue to act in good faith, maintain a good reputation, and be a good steward of your talents. 

Q6: List three talents God has given to you.

TEACHER NOTES: 
  • good at math
  • love to care for children
  • strong
  • musical
  • outgoing
  • hard worker
  • computer wiz
The important thing is to help them see that there are a variety of talents God has given to each of us and all of our talents can be used for His honor and glory.

While you may be tempted to think you are something special by having the ability to earn money, it is important to thank God for these gifts and talents by being responsible stewards of the treasure they provide to you.

By understanding that everything comes from God, you will develop a confidence and a peacefulness knowing that you can rely on God completely. When you have total trust in God, it becomes easy to stop giving material things a level of importance they don’t deserve. 

GO DEEPER

Read Luke 3:11 

As a way to actually experience this verse from Luke, go through your room and collect things you no longer use that are in good condition. Find an organization that could use those items and donate the things that will be useful to those who are struggling.

Q7: What did you learn from the Go Deeper activity?

TEACHER NOTES: 

As each student talks about their list of needs and wants, engage the other students to see if they agree on what is a need versus a want.

  • I learned that being a good steward can mean donating things I no longer use or need so that someone else can use them 
  • I have a lot of stuff I don’t use
  • it was hard to give things away

CONCLUDE

Discuss Deuteronomy 10:14

Q8: How does this verse apply to everyday life?

TEACHER NOTES: Everything we have comes from God and we are to use everything wisely.

NEXT TIME

The next session is about wants versus needs. There may be a lot of things we want, but the only things we really need are food, clothing, and shelter.

The Go Deeper activity for next time is all about the difference between needs and wants.

CLOSE WITH PRAYER

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Spiritual Cents: Faith & Finances for Teens TEACHER EDITION
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This is a Sample!

Enjoy it? Click below!