What Does the Bible Say About Money?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, December 4, 2017 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

Money: we either love it or hate it, feel like we have plenty of it or never enough. Even when we really do have enough, we always seem to want more. Money and how we handle it has been an issue in society for hundreds of years, which is why we see the topic a lot in the Bible. There are hundreds of verses either specifically or loosely related to money! That’s a bit much to list in today’s blog post, but we’ll go over some of the highlights of what the Bible says about money.

The Bible talks about money in general in a number of verses. Perhaps the most often-quoted one is at the end of the passage in 1 Timothy 6:7-10: “For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 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.” You can’t take money with you, and if you love money more than you love God, it will get you into all kinds of evil.

Similarly, in Matthew 6:24, we see that we can’t serve both God and money. We can’t focus our lives around money and still be focused on God; our focus needs to be on one or the other (ideally God, of course). The story of the rich young ruler in Matthew 19:16-24 that provides the context for this verse illustrates that truth. We know that wherever our heart is - whether with our money / possessions or with God - that is where our treasure is (Matthew 6:21). If our heart is following money and getting more stuff in this world, then that’s the treasure we’re storing up for ourselves, that we can’t take with us. But if our heart is following after God, then we’re earning a treasure that will bless us for all eternity.

There are numerous verses in Proverbs that talk about wealth and money. For example, Proverbs 11:4 says, “Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.” Proverbs 23:4-5 says, “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. 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.”

Much of the book of Ecclesiastes is about what actually has value in life, and Ecclesiastes 5:8-20 talks about riches specifically. Verse 10 sums it up: “Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.”

Another money-related topic in the Bible is giving, whether giving money to others, to the church, or to other organizations that spread God’s Kingdom. 2 Corinthians 9:7 says, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” Luke 6:32-35 talks about lending to others who are genuinely in need while not expecting repayment along with the idea of loving your enemies. Proverbs 22:9 says, “The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.” Matthew 6:2-4 gives further instruction on how to give to the poor, specifically that we don’t make a big deal about it, since we’re just being obedient to God and should not be prideful in the matter.

Yet another money issue discussed in the Bible is the sin of greed - wanting money or possessions that we do not have, and likely don’t even need. “Then [Jesus] said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions’” (Luke 12:15). “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” (Mark 8:36). Ephesians 5:5 warns us that those who are greedy will not inherit God’s Kingdom: “For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.”

Debt is also discussed in the Bible. Much of Proverbs 22 talks about money, and verse 7 specifically deals with the position we put ourselves in when we go into debt: “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” Verses 26-27 warn about going into debt if you can’t afford to pay it back: “Do not be one who shakes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts; if you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched from under you.” Biblically, the only debt we should have in our lives is a debt of loving each other: “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law” (Romans 13:8).

Finally, we’re encouraged in Scripture to not worry about money, because God will provide for our needs. Matthew 6:25-33 is a great passage that speaks about this, ending with telling us what we should seek instead: God’s Kingdom and His righteousness. When we do that with our whole hearts, we don’t have to worry about anything! God can and will take care of us when we are obedient to Him in doing His work: “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19). This has also been promised by God since Old Testament times, as it says in Deuteronomy 8:18: “But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth,and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.” If we delight in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4), and we will be content with what we have.

God doesn’t want us to struggle with the issue of money. If we are following His plan for our lives and being obedient to what He wants us to do, money will not be an issue for us. There are many resources available online to help you manage your money in a Biblical way; please let us know if you’d like specific recommendations to help your financial life line up with your faith.

“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8)

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