May 16, 2024

What the Bible Says About Managing Money

Christians need to know what the Bible says about managing money. It’s just as important as what God says about salvation, faith, and eternity. That’s because there’s a fundamental connection between our spiritual growth and how we handle our finances. In fact, fifteen percent of what Jesus said in Scripture deals with this topic. And if it’s in the Bible we need to talk about it.



As with any other part of life, perspective is key. For instance, anyone who earns $50,000 a year is wealthier than 90% of the world. What we spend on a snack is more than a day’s wage in some countries. I’m not trying to make you feel guilty about what you have but to make you think about what you’re doing with it.


God promises to supply all our needs (Matthew 6:25-34; Philippians 4:19). However, a lot of our spending is based on wants and desires, not on actual needs. And credit cards make it possible to live far above our means. Consequently, the average credit card debt in America is $5,000. Additionally, almost 20% of American car buyers have a monthly payment of at least $1,000. We push to the limit to have what we want instead of being content with what God gives.



Living beyond our means shows a lack of contentment. We look at what someone else has and we want it too. So we overextend. Let’s call it what it is—selfishness, pride, and insecurity. That’s why lifestyle debt is deadly to spiritual growth. If we just charge anything our hearts desire then there’s no need for faith. We stop looking to God as Provider and take matters into our own hands.


Hebrews 13:5 says, Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.’” And 1 Timothy 6:6-8 tells us, “But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.” And that’s just scratching the surface of biblical teaching on contentment.



The Bible tells us over and over to look out for the needs of others. But if we’re living above our means we can’t be generous. Living with open hands allows God to fill them with His blessings and then use what He gives however He wishes. Love for God and gratitude for what He’s done fosters generosity.


So, how much should we give? Well, throughout Scripture we see the idea of proportional giving. You may be familiar with the word, tithe, which means ten percent. Proportional or percentage-based giving means that you give according to what God has given you (Malachi 3:10). Christians today only give about 2.5 percent per capita, while people gave at a 3.3 percent rate during the Great Depression!


Here’s the point—if believers were to increase their giving to a minimum of ten percent, there would be an additional $165 billion for churches to use and distribute. The global impact would be phenomenal. Just think about the impact on global hunger, deaths from preventable diseases, and water and sanitation issues in immerging countries. Plus, we could fully fund all current overseas mission work and still have money left over for ministry expansion.



The problem is wrong priorities. Too many Christians are laying up treasures on Earth rather than in Heaven (Matthew 6:19-21). Consequently, every day that brings them closer to death takes them further from their treasure. If you think about it, Jesus’ instructions to store up treasure in Heaven is in our best interest. In other words, we can’t take it with us but we can send it on ahead.


This is the same thing Paul taught in 1 Timothy 6:17–19, Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.”



Nothing reveals our true spiritual condition faster than how we handle our finances. From God’s point of view, our faith and our finances are inseparable. So I challenge you to look honestly at where your money went last month. What are the differences between how you handle money and what the Bible says about managing money?


God gives us things to enjoy. So enjoy the things but trust God. He’s not upset about you having a boat, new clothes, or a nice house. The question is…are you prioritizing those things above what He says is most important?