I have just finished teaching a class at our church entitled, “Handling Money God’s Way” and in this blog post I want to share the main principles I covered in that class. There are 11 biblical principles we studied, but before I get into listing out these principles, I must share a little about the importance of handling money from a biblical perspective.
Often I will hear from people who do not go to church (or who used to go to a church) that they want nothing to do with church because they just go to church to hear a pastor ask for money and try to guilt people who do not give into tithing (giving 10% of their income). I believe that the problem is that much of the time too much emphasis is placed on giving, when the real issue is that we need to be handling money God’s way instead of our way. The Bible talks a lot about money. While I have never sat down and counted the exact number of references to money in the Bible, I have looked at a number of resources that agree that the Bible has over 2,000 references to money in it. Add to that the fact that money does not seem to be handled with wisdom in our culture. According to this USA Today article, https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2019/03/07/credit-card-debt-where-average-balance-highest-across-us/39129001/ Americans owe 1.04 Trillion in credit card debt! Our U.S. national debt is at 22 Trillion. I believe that part of the problem is that we have discarded what God’s Word tells us about handling money. The 11 principles I will be sharing with you are principles that will lead to financial freedom. They work together. I will share some Scripture references to go with these principles. Here they are:
1 - God Provides for His People
This principle is encouraging and comforting. See Matthew 6:31-33 & Exodus Chapter 16.
2 - God Owns Everything
How about that! MY money isn’t mine. It’s God’s! How’s that for a change in perspective? See Psalm 24:1, Psalm 50:12, Deut. 10:14, Job 41:11
3 - We Should Be God’s Faithful Stewards
God wants us to manage what he gives us to manage/steward well. See 1 Corinthians 4:2, Matthew 6:24, Psalm 8:4-8.
4 - Don’t Abuse Debt
Debt can be a powerful tool, but it is very easy to abuse and misuse it. When debt is abused it is a big problem! See Proverbs 22:7, II Kings 4:1-7
5 - God expects total Honesty
See Leviticus 19:11,13, Ephesians 4:25,28.
6 - Be A Diligent Worker
See Proverbs 6:6-11 & 18:9, 2 Thessalonians 3:6-12, Exodus 23:12
Dave Ramsey says, “There are four things you need to be able to do well with money, work hard for money, save money, give money, and enjoy money.”
God wants us to work hard and diligently. We do need to be careful not to become workaholics!
7 - Be Careful to Save and Invest Wisely
See Read Proverbs 21:20, 13:11 & 22, 10:4-5, 1 Timothy 5:8, Ecclesiastes 11:1-2
8 - Be A Cheerful Giver
God loves a cheerful giver. When people ask me how much they should give I tell them it is a matter between them and God, and I prefer to err on the side of generosity. See II Corinthians 9:6-11, Matthew 23:23-24, Luke 21:1-4.
9 - Do not Love Money
While we can’t ignore money and should not ignore it, we need to be careful that as we strive to be good and faithful managers of God’s money that money does not consume us. See Philippians 4:10-13,
I Timothy 6:6-10
10 - Seek Wise, Godly Counsel
This is a life principle that can and should be applied to our financial management. See Proverbs 12:15, Proverbs 19:20
11 - Have a Budget to Spend Less Than You Make
“If your outgo exceeds your income, your upkeep will be your downfall.” ~ Bill Earle
Proverbs 3:9 says, “Honor the Lord with your wealth…” I believe it is impossible to do this unless you are spending less than you make.
These biblical principles will guide us in managing money in such a way as to honor God with it. The principles complement each other. For example, one who realizes that God own’s everything, and that God provides for his people and has a budget to spend less than they make will be more likely to be a cheerful giver.
I hope that these principles are helpful! I am willing to share my handouts that I created for this class so if you would like to go into more depth, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org