The Bible contains wise principles for the use of money. God has woven these principles into the fabric of life and existence. When we follow these principles and tend to the spiritual dimension of our financial lives, we live blessed and abundant lives.
1. It is important to have a healthy perspective about money. Accumulating money is not the goal of a full and blessed life. Money is a powerful tool to be handled wisely so it does not crowd out such things as our relationship with God, family and friends. Character traits like integrity, truthfulness, compassion cannot be bought and are more precious than gold. Just because one has wealth does not make them any more important or valuable in God’s eyes. Balance is key.
+ “Such is the fate if all who are greedy for money; it robs them of life.” (Proverbs 1:1)
+ “Better to have little, with fear for the Lord, than to have great treasure and inner turmoil.” (Proverbs 15:16)
+ “Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held is high esteem is better than silver or gold.” (Proverbs 22:1)
+ “Trust in your money and down you go! But the godly flourish like leaves in the spring.” (Proverbs 11:28)
+ “True humility and fear of the LORD lead to riches, honor, and long life.” (Proverbs 22:4)
+ “Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich. Be wise enough to know when to quit. In the blink of an eye wealth disappears, for it will sprout wings and fly away like an eagle.” (Proverbs 23:4-5)
+ Better to be poor and honest than to be dishonest and rich. (Proverbs 28:6)
+ “First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?” And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name.” (Proverbs 30:8-9)
+ “How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness.” (Ecclesiastes 5:10)
+ “Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless — like chasing the wind.” (Ecclesiastes 6:9)
+ Wisdom and money can get you almost anything, but wisdom can save your life.” (Ecclesiastes 7:12)
2. Being in debt is analogous to being a slave. Freedom comes with becoming (and staying) debt free. Make interest rather than pay it.
+ “Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender.” (Proverbs 22:7)
3. Financial abundance and blessing come from the Lord.
+ “Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine.” — Proverbs 3:9-10
4. Giving charitable contributions and caring for the poor are a key principles of a sound financial plan:
+ “Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” — Proverbs 11:24-25
+ “Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in their own time of need.” (Proverbs 21:13)
+ “Some people are always greedy for more, but the godly love to give!” (Proverbs 21:26)
+ “Blessed are those who are generous, because they feed the poor.” (Proverbs 22:9)
+ “A person who gets ahead by oppressing the poor or by showering gifts on the rich will end in poverty.” (Proverbs 22:26)
+ “Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to poverty will be cursed.” (Proverbs 28:27)
5. Never, ever, ever co-sign!
+ “It’s safer not to guarantee another person’s debt.” (Proverbs 11:15)
+ “Don’t agree to guarantee another person’s debt or put up security for someone else. If you can’t pay it, even your bed will be snatched from under you.” (Proverbs 22:27)
4. Build tremendous wealth by working hard and investing a portion of your income each month in quality investments. Take a long term view.
+ “Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows over time.” (Proverbs 13:11)
+ “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.” (Proverbs 21:5)
+ “A hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies ends up in poverty. The trustworthy person will get a rich reward, but a person who wants quick riches will get into trouble.Showing partiality is never good, yet some will do wrong for a mere piece of bread. Greedy people try to get rich quick but don’t realize they’re headed for poverty.” (Proverbs 28:19-22)
+ “Money is put into risky investments that turn sour, and everything is lost.” (Ecclesiastes 5:14)
+ “A wise person thinks a lot about death, while a fool thinks only about having a good time.” (Ecclesiastes 7:4)
6. Model good money management practices and teach them to your children. If they are responsible with money, then leave an inheritance to bless them and future generations. Your kids will probably be unknowing recipients of money that has been squandered by the over-consuming heirs of people who were unwise in teaching their kids about money.
+ “Good people leave an inheritance to their grandchildren, but the sinner’s wealth passes to the godly.” (Proverbs 13:22)
+ “An inheritance obtained too early in life is not a blessing in the end.” (Proverbs 20:21)
6. Living beyond one’s means is one of the main hinderances to growing wealthy. Live below your means, save, invest and gather wealth slowly. Luxury appropriate to your growing means will follow.
+ “Those who love pleasure become poor; those who love wine and luxury will never be rich.” (Proverbs 21:17)
+ “The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get.” (Proverbs 21:20)
7. Don’t loan money to others. It creates inequality in the relationship. Instead, give to someone who us truly in need without expectation of receiving the money back. When you give, make sure you are not continuing to enable their bad money behavior.
8. Don’t sit around and wait for opportunity to come, but be proactive in your work.
+ “The lazy person claims, “There’s a lion out there! If I go outside, I might be killed!” (Proverbs 22:13)
Continue to be proactive in finding work and in your work. Work hard, develop your skills and grow in your vocation. It will lead to rewards.
+ “Do you see any competent workers? They will serve kings rather than working for ordinary people.” (Proverbs 22:29)
+ “A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest — then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit.” (Proverbs 24:33-34)
Have a plan for your finances.
Have a firm handle on your income and expenses. Know what you spend in the areas of your budget. Work a plan each month and follow it.
+ Know the state of your flocks, and put your heart into caring for your herds.” (Proverbs 27:23)
You probably can’t keep up with the Jonses, so why even try.
+ “Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind.” (Ecclesiastes 4:4)