Many people are struggling with finances today. If we look in the bible, God lays downs the ground rules for remaining debt free and living a financially comfortable life. God teaches us how to handle our finances. First, we must remember that God is the source of all wealth. He has created all things and if we follow him we will have an abundance of blessings.
“Remember the Lord your God,
for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth.”
“I walk in the way of righteousness;
I follow the paths of justice,
giving wealth to those who love me,
filling their houses with treasures.”
“And with all his abundant wealth through Christ Jesus,
my God will supply all your needs.”
“And God is able to give you more than you need, so that you
will always have all you need for yourselves and more than enough for every good cause.”
-2 Corinthians 9:8
When the Lord has given you wealth, thank him! Everything we have is his and therefore we need to thank him for giving to us. We did not gain anything by our own doing. It is because of God’s love, mercy, and grace.
“The wise should not boast of their wisdom, nor the strong
of their strength, nor the rich of their wealth. If any
want to boast, they should boast that they know and understand me,…”
Giving is essential! If we give to him, he will pour his blessings out to us. (Proverbs 28:27, 19, 20, 22, 25) If we give to others, he will give to us. After all, he says that if help others, we are helping him. You can give to God just by taking some quiet time to grow in the word of God and pray to him. Also, if you give ten percent of your earnings to tithes, you will be blessed. We reap what we sow and we should not give reluctantly (2 Corinthians 9:6-7)
“Honor the Lord by making him an offering from the best of all
that your land produces. If you do, your barns will be
filled with grain, and you will have too much wine to store it all.”
“”I ask you, is it right for a person to cheat God?
Of course not, yet you are cheating me. ‘How?’ you ask. In the matter
of tithes and offerings. A curse is on all of you because the
whole nation is cheating me. Bring the full amount of
your tithes to the Temple, so that there will be plenty of food there.
Put me to the test and you will see that I will open the windows of heaven
and pour out on you in abundance all kinds of good things. I will not let
insects destroy your crops, and your grapevines will be loaded with grapes.”
“Give to others, and God will give to you. Indeed, you will
receive a full measure, a generous helping, poured into your hands- all that
you can hold. The measure you use for others is the one that God
will use for you.”
“A generous man will himself be blessed,
for he shares his food with the poor.”
“He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who
gives gifts to the rich-both come to poverty.”
Do not cosign or borrow. The bible strongly advises against this. When you cosign for a person, it is generally because they have poor credit so the lender won’t loan that person the money. This means that this person typically does not make payments on time which will only cause lenders to come to you.
“My child, have you promised to be responsible for someone else’s debts?
Have you been caught by your own words, trapped by your own promises? Well then,
my child, you are in that person’s power, but this is how to get out of it: hurry
to him, and beg him to release you. “
“Anyone stupid enough to promise to be responsible for a stranger’s debts ought
to have their own property held to guarantee payment.”
“Poor people are slaves of the rich. Borrow money and you are the lender’s slave.”
“Don’t promise to be responsible for someone else’s debts. If you should
be unable to pay, they will take away even your bed.”
Keep a record of your spending. This will keep you from overspending and help you know what is available to you at all times.
“If one of you is planning to build a tower, you sit down
first and figure out what it will cost, to see
if you have enough money to finish the job.”
Save what you have earned, but do not hoard and do not be lazy. In Proverbs 6:6-11, it states that lazy people should learn a lesson from ants. Ants work to save and get ready for the winter but the lazy man sits around and gains nothing.
“Wise people live in wealth and luxury, but stupid people
spend their money as fast as they get it.”
“Work and you will earn a living; if you
sit around talking you will be poor.”
Finally, be content with what you have and do not love money. If you grow to love money and seek it, you will no longer be blessed. You are seeking the wrong things. Throughout Ecclesiastes, we see that to find satisfaction in what we have and to work is good and that riches are meaningless because we leave the world as we entered: with nothing.
“Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be satisfied with what you have.”
“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. People who want to get rich fall into
temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires
that plunge men 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.”
-1 Timothy 6:7-10
“…for I have learned to be content with whatever the circumstances.
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.
I have learned the secret of being content in any
and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether
living in plenty or in want.”
“…although saddened, we are always glad; we seem
poor, but we make many people rich; we seem to have nothing, yet
we really possess everything.”
-2 Corinthians 6:10
Sometimes, God may not bless us with financial aid but rather he will bless us with spiritual gifts and talents for us to use for him. He might bless us in relationships or spiritual knowledge, or maybe even just a kind gesture from a stranger. But whatever it may be, God is still blessing you! The most important riches are those stored in Heaven.
We are to be wise with our money. We are to save money, but not hoard it. We are to spend money, but with discretion and control. We are to give back to the Lord, joyfully and sacrificially. We are to use our money to help others, but with discernment and the guidance of God’s Spirit. It is not wrong to be rich, but it is wrong to love money. It is not wrong to be poor, but it is wrong to waste money on trivial things. The Bible’s consistent message on managing money is to be wise. As one learns to follow these principles in his personal finances, he will know the joy that comes from trusting and obeying God.