People often ask me where I come up with my financial advice.
The ensuing conversation typically goes like this:
Me: “I base my financial and investment advice on academic research, rooted in timeless financial wisdom and principles found in the Bible.”
Curious individual:“What do you mean the Bible? What does the Bible say about money?”
Me: “Yes, the Bible. The Bible actually talks a LOT about money.”
This will further pique the curiosity of the person I’m speaking with, so they’ll ask more questions and eventually we’ll start talking about the types of things the Bible gives advice on in regards to money and possessions.
If you count yourself among the curious, then congratulations, you’re in luck.
In the coming weeks, we’ll explore what the Bible says about money. The lessons we’ll learn over the next few posts will literally transform the way you view and use your money and possessions during your short time here on Earth.
When it comes to our money and possessions, Scripture is clear on four major points…
What does the Bible say about money?
1. God owns everything
In numerous places throughout Scripture we are told things like…
The Earth is the Lord’s and all it contains, the world and those who dwell in it. (Psalm 24:1, NASB)
For from him and through him and to him are all things. (Romans 11:36, ESV)
This is the “secret” to wise financial decisions. If you don’t understand and acknowledge God’s ownership over your money and possessions (and your life), it will be impossible to make wise financial decisions, so we’ll talk about it a little more in a future post. (If you want to learn more right now, check out this post that I recently wrote which talks a little about this “secret” to wise financial decisions.)
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying if you don’t understand this you won’t be “successful” in the way the rest of the world usually thinks of success (i.e. money, prestige, etc.). What I’m saying is that when you come to the end of your life, none of that so-called “success” will matter.
Life is short and eternity is long.
If you truly understand this, you’ll make financial (and life) decisions in light of this reality and not in spite of it.
What else does the Bible say about money?
2. We are stewards of His resources
This is just stating the obvious. If God owns everything, then the things we “own” during our short time here on Earth really aren’t ours. Rather, we’re just stewards of His resources.
But what is a steward?
We’ll cover this more in a future post, but for now, think of a manager or CEO of a business who doesn’t hold any stock in the company. In other words, this individual doesn’t own the company, they just run it.
Their entire goal is (or should be!) to operate the business in a way that will increase the value of the company, thereby, bringing financial success to the owner. The manager or CEO is merely a “steward” of the true owner’s resources (i.e. the company).
Does that make sense?
So, if God is the owner of our “stuff” and we are the CEO of His “company,” what does success look like in this situation?
I’m glad you asked.
That brings us to our third point of what the Bible says about money…
3. We are to steward these resources in a way that glorifies God
Our responsibility as stewards then is to glorify God with everything we are, with everything we do, and with everything we have at our disposal, including our money and possessions.
I believe Bible teacher and theologian, Dr. John Piper, says it best with his personal spin on a famous line from the time-tested Westminster Confession of Faith…
The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever.
Or as the apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
That’s all well and good, but what it does it mean to “glorify” God with our money and possessions (and our life)?
Much more to come on this in a future post.
4. The Bible gives us practical wisdom and advice on how to do this
With a strong foundation set in the first few posts, in the final post we’ll talk about a lot of the practical, “how-to” advice on what the Bible says about money. In particular, we’ll learn some of the different financial topics that you can find directly addressed in God’s Word.
For example, did you know the Bible talks about…
- Diversification in investing
- Budgeting and cash flow planning
- Saving for emergencies
- Leaving an inheritance and estate planning
- Debt and how to deal with creditors
- Retirement (or reHirement as I like to call it)
- Paying and reducing income taxes
- Giving and philanthropy
- Choosing advisors and making wise financial decisions
These are just a few of the many financial topics you’ll find after just a cursory reading of the pages of Scripture. As you can see, this is real-world practical help in how to be a good steward of the resources God has entrusted you with.
“I didn’t realize how much the Bible says about money…”
Maybe you’re like many of the people I meet that are pleasantly surprised to learn the Bible talks so much about money and possessions. Or maybe you’re just a little bit skeptical of all this “Bible” talk.
Either way, I hope you’ll join me in the weeks ahead as we walk through the all-time best-selling book on personal finance (and life!). Even if you don’t agree with everything I’ll share with you over the next few weeks, I’m sure you’ll be glad you made the journey.
There is deeply rooted wisdom waiting to be discovered in this life changing Book and a lot of it has to do with how to save, spend, give, and live with your (God’s) money and possessions.
Do you know a friend, family member, or colleague who’d like to join us on this journey?
If so, feel free to share this post with them using the share buttons on the side or at the bottom of the page so that they can tag along as we search the pages of Scripture to learn “timeless financial wisdom…for every stage of life.”
This post is part 1 in a series titled, “What Does the Bible Say About Money?” You can access parts 2, 3, and 4 by clicking here, here, and here.