What Does the Bible Say About Financial Responsibility?
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What Does the Bible Say About Financial Responsibility?

Money. We all need it and want more of it. But as Christians, how should we view money and wealth? What does the Bible say about being financially responsible?

In this comprehensive blog post, we’ll explore the biblical principles for managing money and possessions. By understanding God’s wisdom on financial stewardship, you can honor Him and experience more financial freedom.


Finances stress us out. About 80% of Americans lay awake at night worrying about money issues. The #1 cause of fights for engaged couples? You guessed it – finances.

It’s clear managing money wisely is critical for your peace of mind and relationships. But it’s not just about this life. How you handle money and possessions affects your eternal destiny (Luke 16:11).

Thankfully, the Bible contains over 2,000 verses on money and possessions. God cares about your financial life and wants you to honor Him with your finances.

Here are the key financial principles you’ll learn:

  • God owns it all
  • Work hard and avoid get-rich-quick schemes
  • Spend less than you earn
  • Stay out of debt
  • Save and invest wisely
  • Give generously
  • Leave an inheritance

As you apply these timeless biblical truths, you’ll experience the financial freedom that comes from honoring God with your money and possessions.

God Owns It All

First, realize God owns everything and we’re just managers of His possessions.

King David expressed this well in 1 Chronicles 29:11-14:

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. (NIV)

God owns it all – the heavens, earth, animals, and even you and me. We’re not owners, just managers of the resources He loans us during our lifetime.

When you realize God owns it all, it frees you from greed and covetousness. You can find contentment in whatever financial state because you know God is ultimately in control.

Work Hard and Avoid Get-Rich-Quick Schemes

Now that you know God owns it all, what should you do on a practical level? The Bible says you should work hard and avoid get-rich quick schemes.

Proverbs warns against the desire to get rich quick:

Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth. He who gathers crops in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son. (Proverbs 10:4-5 NIV)

And again in Proverbs 13:11:

Dishonest money dwindles away, but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow. (NIV)

The Bible praises hard work and warns against seeking shortcuts to wealth. Don’t buy into get-rich quick schemes. Wealth gained quickly will dwindle away just as fast.

Instead, take the longer but more rewarding path of working diligently over your lifetime. Spend your younger years working and learning skills. Then as you gain experience, you’ll earn raises and promotions to achieve financial success. It may take decades, but in the end you’ll have far more to show for your efforts.

Paul gives this advice in 2 Thessalonians 3:10:

For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” (NIV)

Don’t be lazy – work hard with your hands so you can provide for yourself and your family. Consistent effort pays off over a lifetime.

Spend Less Than You Earn

Now that you’re working hard, what’s the next financial principle? Live below your means – spend less than you earn.

Proverbs 21:20 warns what happens when you don’t live below your means:

The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down. (NIV)

And Proverbs 25:28:

Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control. (NIV)

Too often we break these principles by spending more than we earn and financing the difference with debt. But wise money management means spending less than you make.

Take a portion of your income and save it first before spending anything. Then create a budget to track where the rest goes. If you find you’re overspending in certain areas, make cuts so you live below your income.

It takes self-control and wisdom to rein in your spending. But living below your means is one of the foundations for getting your finances under control.

Stay Out of Debt

Living below your means ties directly to the next principle – stay out of debt as much as possible.

The borrower becomes slave to the lender (Proverbs 22:7). Debt puts you in bondage until the debt gets paid off.

Debt also causes you to worry:

The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender. (Proverbs 22:7 NIV)

That’s why the Bible encourages us to avoid debt whenever possible:

Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender. (Proverbs 22:7 NLT)

Of course, most people will need a home loan to buy a house. But be careful about car loans, credit cards, and definitely avoid payday loans at insane interest rates. Consumer debt for purchasing more stuff will chain you down financially.

Make a plan to pay off all debts quickly. Channel freed up cash flow towards saving and investing. Debt drags you down. Stay out of it as much as possible.

Save and Invest Wisely

So far you’ve been working hard, spending less than you earn, and avoiding unnecessary debt. Great job! Now it’s time to save and invest some of that hard-earned cash.

Saving money provides you a buffer for unexpected expenses and future needs:

Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. (Proverbs 6:6-8 NIV)

Ants store up food in the summer to prepare for winter. In the same way, you should set aside money in savings now to prepare for future needs.

The Bible recommends saving at least 10% of your income:

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” (Malachi 3:10 NIV)

Most financial experts recommend 15% or more in savings to prepare for your future. Are you saving at least 10% of your income? If not, make a plan to start saving more right away. Time and compound growth work wonders.

For investing, the goal is to earn returns higher than inflation so your money keeps pace with rising prices. With historically low interest rates, you’ll need to invest some savings into stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and real estate.

Here’s a warning from Proverbs about putting up security or co-signing for someone else’s debt:

My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger, you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth. So do this, my son, to free yourself… (Proverbs 6:1-3 NIV)

In other words, don’t invest in anything you don’t fully understand. And don’t co-sign for loans or invest based on tips from friends or family. Do your own research before investing so you understand the risks.

The key is investing for the long-run, not getting caught up in speculative frenzies:

The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty. (Proverbs 21:5 NIV)

With saving and investing, slow and steady investing wins the race. Use time and compound growth to your advantage.

Give Generously

You’ve been working diligently, avoiding debt, and saving and investing wisely. Now what does the Bible say about giving?

Give generously and joyfully!

The Bible encourages giving at least 10% of your income as tithes and offerings at your local church.

Here are a few verses about giving 10% or more of your income:

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” (Malachi 3:10 NIV)

“A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord.” (Leviticus 27:30 NIV)

“But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.” (2 Corinthians 8:7 NIV)

Giving brings joy and purpose. You reap spiritual blessings when you give freely to God’s work. Look for ways to secretly give and bless others too:

But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. (Matthew 6:3-4 NIV)

Giving generously is good for your soul. It loosens your grip on money and stuff. It purifies your heart from greed. And it advances God’s work at your local church and beyond.

Leave an Inheritance

The final principle for biblical financial stewardship is to leave an inheritance for your children and grandchildren.

You don’t want to spoil your kids with too many handouts. After all, you’re supposed to teach them biblical principles like hard work and avoiding debt too. But the Bible says you should provide for your family and future generations:

A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous. (Proverbs 13:22 NIV)

As you faithfully steward what God has given you, your net worth should grow over your lifetime. This allows you to leave an inheritance for the next generation.

Teaching kids biblical principles around money is the greatest gift you can give them. Beyond that, an inheritance allows them to pursue God’s calling for their lives even more boldly. They can avoid debt, be generous, and make a global Kingdom impact.

Summary of Biblical Financial Principles

God cares deeply about your finances. If you honor Him in how you manage money and possessions, He promises to bless you abundantly.

Here’s a quick recap of the biblical financial principles:

  1. God owns it all
  2. Work hard and avoid get-rich-quick schemes
  3. Spend less than you earn
  4. Stay out of debt
  5. Save and invest wisely
  6. Give generously
  7. Leave an inheritance

Which principle do you most need to work on? Take a step today to align your finances with God’s wisdom.

As you seek God first and honor Him with your finances, you’ll experience His perfect peace and provision. He wants you to find financial freedom so you can generously advance His Kingdom.

May God richly bless you as you embark on this journey of honoring Him with your finances and possessions. He promises to open the floodgates of heaven if you simply test Him in this area. Amazing blessings await you!

Pastor Duke Taber
Pastor Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber

All articles have been written or reviewed by Pastor Duke Taber.
Pastor Duke Taber is an alumnus of Life Pacific University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
He has been in pastoral ministry since 1988.
Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.
He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center, a Non-Denominational Spirit Filled Christian church in Mesquite Nevada.