Money. It’s something we all need and use on a daily basis. But what does the Bible say about how we should view money and manage our finances? As Christians, God calls us to be wise stewards of the resources He blesses us with, using them for His glory and to advance His Kingdom. In this comprehensive blog post, we’ll explore key Biblical principles about work, generosity, contentment, debt, saving, investing and more to gain valuable insight into God’s wisdom on managing money.
- God owns everything and we are simply managers of His resources
- Work is good and provides for our needs
- Avoid get rich quick schemes and work ethically
- Give generously and cheerfully
- Be content with what you have
- Avoid debt as much as possible
- Save and invest wisely
- Seek God first, not money
- Manage money wisely to be a good testimony
God Owns Everything
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To start, we need to understand that God owns everything! All money and possessions belong to Him. As Psalm 24:1 states:
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; (NIV)
Since God owns everything, that means we are simply managers or stewards of the resources He blesses us with. As Jesus told the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30, God expects us to be faithful stewards of what He entrusts to us. We shouldn’t view money or possessions as purely our own, but as God’s property that He loans to us to use and invest for His glory.
So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own? (Luke 16:11-12, NIV)
Everything we have is on loan from God and we will be held accountable for how we manage it. So we need to handle money wisely as faithful stewards.
Work is Good
While God owns everything, the main way He provides resources for us is through work. The Bible upholds the value of hard work and warns against laziness:
Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense. (Proverbs 12:11, ESV)
Aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one. (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12, ESV)
Work is inherently good because God Himself worked for six days in Creation and then rested on the seventh. When God created Adam and Eve, He gave them responsibility to work and care for the Garden of Eden. Work is part of God’s design for human flourishing. Through our work, we serve others and glorify God. Hard work and personal responsibility are praised throughout Proverbs and other books of the Bible.
However, we need to have the right perspective on work. We should work to meet our needs and serve others, not simply accumulate wealth for selfish gain:
Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work… that they should work with quietness and earn their own living. (Titus 3:1, 8:15, ESV)
Our jobs and businesses should be honorable enterprises that align with Biblical values. Wealth obtained through greed, dishonesty, and exploitation is condemned in Scripture.
Avoid Get Rich Quick Schemes
Proverbs warns us to be wary of get rich quick schemes:
Dishonest money dwindles away, but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow. (Proverbs 13:11, NIV)
Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles, But the one who gathers by labor increases it. (Proverbs 13:11, NASB)
The Bible tells us that true wealth is built slowly through steady work and wise investing over time. Attempting to make money fast through risky speculation or immoral business practices will not lead to lasting prosperity. Ill-gotten gain tends to disappear quickly.
Building wealth gradually and ethically through diligent labor is more honorable according to Scripture. There are no shortcuts to honest wealth creation.
Give Generously and Cheerfully
A key theme throughout the Bible is the importance of having a generous spirit:
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. (Malachi 3:10, NASB)
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7, ESV)
Give, and it will be given to you… For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (Luke 6:38, NIV)
God promises that generous giving will be rewarded in return. While we should give freely out of love, God blesses those who give cheerfully to do His work. We are not to give reluctantly or out of mere obligation. As we work and manage money, we need to make giving a priority. This includes tithing to your local church as well as offering your time, abilities, and money to help those in need. Generosity demonstrates that money does not have power over you. It releases you from greed and creates an open hand to freely bless others.
Be Content With What You Have
The world says we always need more money and possessions to be happy. But God says contentment comes from Him alone:
But godliness with contentment is great gain… But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. (1 Timothy 6:6, 8, ESV)
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5, ESV)
Contentment comes not from how much money we have, but from trusting in God’s provision and presence. We can be content in humble means or abundant wealth so long as our hope is firmly in Christ. Don’t let discontentment drive you to make unwise financial decisions.
Avoid Debt As Much As Possible
While most understand the dangers of debt, the Bible strongly warns against it as well:
The borrower is the slave of the lender. (Proverbs 22:7, ESV)
Debt puts you in bondage to lenders. It increases stress, steals joy, and keeps you enslaved to continual payments. While certain types of debt may be unavoidable (medical debt or modest student loans), Scripture tells us to avoid consumer debt if at all possible:
Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. (1 Timothy 6:9-10, ESV)
Debt is often the result of loving money and craving possessions beyond our means. It leads to ruin and sorrow. So take time to save up and buy only what you can afford. Keep working to pay off any debts and free yourself from the burden.
Save and Invest Wisely
While debt should be avoided, wise saving and investing of money is encouraged in the Bible:
Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise… she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. (Proverbs 6:6, 8 ESV)
Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it. (Proverbs 21:20, ESV)
Ants store up food in summer for winter. Wise men save money and resources for the future while fools squander it. Having reasonable savings and investments provides for needs during difficult times and allows you to generously share with others:
Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come—and the books, and above all the parchments. (2 Timothy 4:13, ESV)
Prudent saving and investing gives you access to needed resources like Paul’s coat and books when the time comes. But always ensure your investments align with Biblical values. Seek wise counsel to avoid investments in unethical industries that conflict with your faith.
Seek God First, Not Money
Jesus told us directly that we cannot serve both God and money. We have to choose who will be first in our lives:
No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. (Matthew 6:24, ESV)
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33, ESV)
Money should never replace God on the throne of your heart. Wealth cannot satisfy the deepest needs of your soul like a relationship with Christ. Seek first God’s kingdom by making Him Lord of your finances and trusting Him to meet your needs.
Manage Money Wisely to Be a Good Testimony
The Bible tells us that how we manage money and giving impacts how others see our faith:
By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:35, ESV)
Generous, wise, and ethical use of money displays Christ’s love. But greed, debt, and dishonesty present a poor witness. Live wisely so money strengthens your testimony rather than ruining it:
In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. (Titus 2:7-8, NIV)
Handle God’s resources wisely so unbelievers will have nothing bad to say about your faith due to poor money management. Let your wise stewardship point people to Christ.
Managing money wisely according to Biblical principles allows us to generously fund God’s work, cares for our families, and gives us freedom from the love of money. As disciples of Jesus, we can model faithfulness with the resources He provides when we apply His financial wisdom. While culture obsesses over wealth, we can find true contentment and satisfaction in Christ alone as we learn to manage money for His glory.