Money is one of the most frequently mentioned topics in the Bible. In fact, a good part of the parables of Jesus touches on the area of finances. Why? One of the reasons could be the fact that the way we handle finances is a good indicator of our true character and how much we have allowed God to transform us deep inside.
Let’s look at some of the things the Bible says about money and learn how to put these principles into practice. You will see that they will not only be a blessing for your economy but will also strengthen your relationship with God and with others.
What the bible says about money
1. It comes from God
17 Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ 18 You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. (Deuteronomy 8:17-18a)
We should not boast about what we have as if it were a prize to our own strength or intelligence. Rather, we must humbly acknowledge that it is by the grace of God that we have everything we have, whether it is much or little. We don’t deserve it, but God in his infinite goodness grants us what we need to live. Everything comes from God, he created it and owns it. He gives and he takes away according to his will and to him, we must give the glory (Romans 11:36).
From you come wealth and honor; you rule everything. In your hands are strength and power, and it is you who magnifies and strengthens everyone.
— 1 Chronicles 29:12
2. We should not love him
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. (1 Timothy 6:10)
If in our day to day what we want most is to live better, to obtain more and better things, we are going the wrong way. What motivates us to get up and go to work? Is it the desire to hoard riches and obtain more luxuries?
Everything seems valid when that is our motivation since, once we enter that game, we are never satisfied. There will always be something else that can be bought or we will need “just a little more”.
Let’s be vigilant! The throne of our heart must be occupied by God only and exclusively. If we allow something else, such as money, to occupy it, we are sinning by choosing to serve an idol. The Bible says it clearly:
No one can serve two masters, for he will despise one and love the other, or love one very much and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth at the same time.
— Matthew 6:24
3. It must be managed well
One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. (Luke 16:10)
Nothing we have really belongs to us. God allows us to have material things so that we can use them wisely according to his purposes. How we manage what God gives us reveals our spiritual sensitivity and maturity. A good administrator recognizes who is the true owner of everything: God! Use the resources he has entrusted to you to glorify his name and to extend his kingdom in this world.
If we are faithful, honest, and upright in small or earthly things, we will be able to receive larger and deeper assignments in the spiritual realm. Being faithful in the physical and material enables us to be faithful in the spiritual area.
4. Reject greed
And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”(Luke 12:15)
Sometimes it seems that we value physical appearance and possessions more than honesty or devotion to God. We let ourselves be carried away by the exterior, forgetting that what will remain for eternity is spiritual. Worse still, we often think that we would be happier or more valuable if we had more things or luxuries. We strive for more instead of seeking to strengthen our relationship with God.
God sees us in a very different way. For him, the wealth that really counts and benefits us is spiritual. One of the things that he values most is the humble heart that he seeks from him and that he wants to live according to his commandments. Our longing should be to have more and more of God, of his presence and direction in our lives. Like the psalmist, our greatest delight should be in doing the will of our Lord (Psalm 40:8).
5. Avoid debt
The Bible is clear about debt and borrowing. Although it does not prohibit it, it does say that we should avoid it for our own good. Why? Because debt enslaves us. A part of us is a slave to whoever lent us the money until we manage to pay off the debt.
The rich are the masters of the poor; debtors are slaves to their creditors.
— Proverbs 22:7
In many cases, debt is the consequence of mismanaging what we have or of greed. On the one hand, there is spending more than we earn instead of living within our means by wisely using the resources God has provided for us. On the other hand, there is the excessive desire to have more and immediately. For example, many take out one loan after another to get the latest model of a car or their favorite technological device. This is not OK.
The main thing when assuming a debt is to have a detailed plan to pay it off as soon as possible. It is always better to avoid acquiring another debt until you have paid off the current one. Better yet, let’s strengthen our economy so that we can pay cash for daily necessities without resorting to loans and debt.
6. It is wise to save
In the Bible we see the importance of earning our livelihood honestly and using it wisely, saving some for the future. It is not a sin to save. What is sin is putting our faith in money instead of trusting in God to provide for all our needs. God encourages us in his Word to use all our resources according to his will and to live a life that glorifies him in everything.
Regarding saving, it is interesting to see in Proverbs the example of the ants:
Come on, lazy, look at the ant! Look at what he does, and be wise! She has no one to command her, no one to watch over her or govern her; yet in the summer she stores provisions and during the harvest she gathers food.
— Proverbs 6:6-8
Let us be diligent in both work and savings. Let’s manage our finances with prudence and wisdom, saving a part for the future. Like the ants that store in the summer to have enough food in the winter, so we must save in anticipation of future needs. We can save, for example, for the children’s studies, retirement, or to be able to face unforeseen events that will come sooner or later.
7. Generosity is important
God is so generous with us! Daily we enjoy his provision and care for him. How can we not share with others the blessings that he grants us? That is one of the ways we can express our love, our gratitude and praise to God.
God is pleased that we are generous with others by allocating part of our resources to meet their basic needs. There are so many needy people in this world! We must be attentive to the voice of God. Many times the provision of it for other people is in our hands. We need to listen to our Father and allow the Holy Spirit to direct us on how to share what we have with those around us.
If someone who possesses material goods sees that his brother is in need, and has no compassion for him, how can it be said that the love of God dwells in him?
— 1 John 3:17
8. Be content with what we have
One of the best qualities we can have in life is that of contentment. It consists of having a heart full of peace because you know that what God does and allows is always the best. We live with the certainty that whatever our circumstances, he is by our side and he will never leave us.
The presence of God brings peace and rest to our souls. It enables us to stop focusing on what we have or don’t have and to fix our eyes on Jesus, on his will and his plan for us. We know that his purpose is one of good and we live full of that confidence.
Because we brought nothing into this world, and we can take nothing with us. So if we have clothes and food, let’s be content with that.
— 1 Timothy 6:7-8
9. Wealth is not always synonymous with blessing
The way we get the money is important. Better to possess little with a clear conscience, knowing that it was acquired through our work, which glorifies God, than to have much through cheating, gambling, or other questionable actions. There is great peace in knowing that one lives in obedience to the precepts of God.
God blesses us in so many different ways! Let’s not insist on thinking that the only way he does it is through the economy. Let us value living within his will more than obtaining material riches. Riches do not always mean that someone enjoys God’s blessing. Yes, they can be, but God also blesses us, among other things, with health, with friends, with a sense of purpose, or with his peace in the midst of any circumstance.
Let us trust in God’s wisdom and provision. He is always faithful and will never fail us. Let us honor God by managing our finances well.