“Money, money money!” sang the O’Jays. (Listen Here) Their grammar wasn’t the best, but their message was clear: money can make people do things they wouldn’t do otherwise. Or, as the Bible puts it: The love of money is the root of all evil.
How should I, as a Christian, view my finances? The Bible both encourages us to trust in God’s provision and warns about the misuse of funds. Let’s look at what Scripture says about wealth, and how we are to get and give our money.
– God is the source and owner of all wealth
The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;(Ps. 24:1;
[God said] for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. 50:10).
– Understanding the Lord’s viewpoint on our finances can prevent us from making costly mistakes. God’s Word contains more verses about money than about heaven, hell, or prayer.
– The Bible encourages positive use of money. Our cash is simply a means of exchange and is not itself evil Read the Parable of the Talents, remembering that a talent was worth more than a thousand dollars.(Matt. 25:14-30).
– God gives us money to be used wisely-for food, clothing, and other basic needs. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38).
– God gives us money for enjoyment of His blessings. Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work-this is a gift of God. He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart. (Eccl. 5:19-20).
– Scripture warns us about the misuse of money. We are not to wear ourselves out to become rich! Do not wear yourself out to get rich;
have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.(Prov. 23:4-5)
– We are not to fall in love with money! For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.(1 Tim. 6:10).
– Financial blessing can turn into a snare if we aren’t careful! The house of the righteous contains great treasure, but the income of the wicked brings them trouble.(Prov. 15:6). Remember “Ponzi”?
– God shows us how to acquire wealth through:
– Working: A significant way the Lord provides for us is through our jobs.
For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” (2 Thess. 3:10).
– Investing: We can put our money to work and see it multiply through wise investments.
– Giving: The Lord sometimes uses people to provide our needs or leads us to assist others financially. When you and I share our abundance with others, God blesses us with more: “Give and it will be given to you” (Luke 6:38).
– Saving: Even a dollar a week adds up over time. Proverbs 21:20 says, “A wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets.”
– The Lord guides us in how to use money.
– To meet personal needs: Philippians 4:19 says, “My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory.”
– To carry on God’s work: In the Old Testament, one tenth of a person’s income (a “tithe”) was earmarked for God’s work; today, that amount continues to be an appropriate guideline for giving to the church. The Lord uses financial gifts from His people to support missions work around the world. As Malachi 3:10 -and many a Christian-testify, God responds by pouring out blessing “until it overflows.”
– For God-given goals: For instance, you may set a goal to purchase a home, buy a more reliable car, get out of debt, or help your children attend college. While we shouldn’t be greedy, there is nothing wrong with seeking to improve our lives.
– To meet the needs of others: Follow the Spirit’s prompting and generously assist others who are genuinely in need.
– God uses money to accomplish specific purposes.
– To train us: As we rely on the Lord for financial provision, He reveals His faithfulness. He also uses money to teach us self-discipline.
– To test us: Sometimes God withholds what we need until we’re ready to wholly rely upon Him-not our resources. What we do with our money indicates what holds first place in our hearts (Matt. 6:21) and our willingness to obey the Lord.
– For our testimony: Talk with others about the way God miraculously provides for you. Share how tithing is a vital part of getting out of debt. When we testify about the Lord’s marvelous provision, the world listens and our heavenly Father receives glory.
– To share the gospel: Jesus commands us to take the gospel to every creature He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. (Mark 16:15)
From the Lord’s perspective, it doesn’t matter how much money I have. Whether I am blessed with much or little, I can choose to obey Him in this area of my life. I must put into practice God’s principles for managing my money. The Father will be sure to bless me and provide for me in exciting, sometimes totally unexpected ways. I know, because He has certainly knocked me off my feet with humongous surprises I could never have imagined!
Try it! What have you got to lose?